[whatwg] Re: Copyright of specifications

Ben Adida ben at mit.edu
Sat Aug 28 08:01:16 PDT 2004

As a lurker on this list and a tech advisor to Creative Commons, I'd 
like to re-suggest a possibility that's already been quickly mentioned 
on this list: a Creative Commons license for these specifications. I 
agree that a public-domain grant is a bad idea at this point: you need 
strong control at least for attribution purposes, with well-defined 
rights for sharing and openness.

With Creative Commons, you'd get the following:
- continued copyright with the forward ability to assign copyright to 
another organization (like W3C) in the future
- well-defined sharing, ability to reproduce, create derivative works, 
- a license that's been looked over by a good deal of lawyers, 
including universities, corporations, big IP lawyers in the valley, 
- share-alike GNU-like property *if you want it*. I can see arguments 
for and against this one, but the choice is there.


I'm happy to help think this through if I can be useful.

-Ben Adida
ben at mit.edu

> The suggestion of public domain was only brought up briefly during an
> unminutted meeting, and was very quickly dismissed as unworkable by the
> people who know such things. Like I said, I have no interest in
> questioning the reasons or methods of our lawyers, just like they have 
> no
> interest in questioning the reasons or methods of my spec writing.

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