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Re: Question about GPL and DFSG Compatibility of a Proposed Amendment to the W3C Document Licence

On 2011-04-28 16:27, Walter Landry wrote:
Walter Landry<wlandry@caltech.edu>  wrote:
Option 2
...  you may:

    2. copy and modify reasonable portions of this document for
       inclusion in software ...

    3. include reasonable portions of this document in research
       materials and publications.

I would say that this option fails the DFSG because it only allows
copying and modification of "reasonable" amounts.  It would also be
incompatible with the GPL, so I do not understand why Eben Moglen
would say that it is compatible.

Good point.

Option 3
Copyright © 2011 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio).

W3C liability and trademark rules apply.

As a whole, this document may be used according to the terms of the
W3C Document License. In addition:

     * To facilitate implementation of the technical specifications set
       forth in this document, anyone may prepare and distribute
       derivative works and portions of this document in software, in
       supporting materials accompanying software, and in documentation
       of software, PROVIDED that all such works include the notice
     * Furthermore, all code, pseudo-code, schema, data tables,
       cascading style sheets, and interface definition language is
       licensed under the W3C Software License, LGPL 2.1, and MPL 1.1.

So what if I want to make derivative works that do not facilitate
implementation of the specifications?  What if Neal Stephenson writes
a GPL-licensed book that includes the standard but modified by an evil
megacorp for nefarious purposes?  If that is allowed, then I have no
problem with this license.

That would be covered by use cases 1 and 10, listed at the bottom of the page [1].

  1.  Publishing the full or parts of a specification in a book to be
  10. Taking WG deliverables in whole or part and repurposing content
      into a book that is given gratis or sold on paper or as a digital

The table in the section "How Licenses Meet HTML Working Group Use Cases" states for those two use cases, in relation to Option 3:

  "Full: Yes. Portions: Yes, in supporting materials accompanying
   software, and in documentation of software."

I believe this is because the W3C Document licence by itself explicitly allows redistribution without modification and Option 3 gives an exception that allows for portions only under certain conditions relating to software.

So, although I am not a lawyer, if my understanding is correct, then I'd say that your hypothetical GPL'd book scenario would probably not be permitted.

Also, I noticed on the page you referenced the summary


   With this as background, the three licenses can be summarized as follows:

     * Option 1 Broad reuse in software and software documentation to
       implement the specification, with an explicit field of use

     * Option 2 Reuse of reasonable portions in software and software
       documentation to implement the specification consistent with
       good engineering practices, with no field of use restriction

     * Option 3 Broad reuse in software and software documentation to
       implement the specification, with an implicit field of use

If they believe that, then Option 3 is incompatible with the DFSG and
the GPL.


[1] http://www.w3.org/2011/03/html-license-options.html#usecases

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software

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