W3C Process Document

2 General Policies

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This section describes general policies for distribution of materials, intellectual property rights, and individual participation in W3C.

2.1 Dissemination Policies

The Team is responsible for managing communication within W3C and with the general public (e.g., news services, press releases, managing the Web site and access privileges, managing calendars, etc.). Members should solicit review by the Team prior to issuing press releases about their work within W3C.

The Team must make every effort to archive and ensure the availability of the following public information:

To keep the Members abreast of W3C meetings, workshops, review deadlines, etc., the Team should provide them with a regular (e.g., weekly) news service and should maintain a calendar [MEM3] of official W3C events. Members should send schedule and event information to the Team for inclusion on this calendar.

2.2 Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy

Whenever possible, technical decisions should be made unencumbered by intellectual property right (IPR) claims. To this end, W3C discloses to the entire Membership which organizations have made IPR claims about a particular technology, as well as the details of those claims where they have been provided. Individuals should immediately disclose any IPR claims they know may be essential to implementing a Recommendation track technical report. To disclose patent and IPR claims, individuals must send email to patent-issues@w3.org, which is an archived mailing list readable by Members and the Team. Individuals disclosing knowledge of IPR claims should copy the Team contact responsible for a particular technology to ensure that the disclosure receives prompt consideration. Individuals may also copy other recipients.

Advisory Committee representatives are responsible for facilitating communication with IPR contacts in their organizations. When disclosing IPR claims, employees of a Member organization should copy their Advisory Committee representative.

An IPR disclosure about a given subject should include the following language (appropriately completed):

I (do not) have personal knowledge of (any) IPR claims held by [organization] regarding [subject].

Whenever possible, a disclosure should provide detail about the claims.

Activity proposals, calls for participation in groups, and other important announcements and Web pages should include reminders of this IPR policy.

2.3 Individual Participation Criteria

There are three qualities an individual must possess in order to participate in W3C:

Advisory Committee representatives who nominate individuals from their organization for participation in W3C Activities are responsible for assessing and attesting to the qualities of participants.

2.3.1 Conflict of interest policy

Individuals participating in a Working Group or Coordination Group, or on the Advisory Committee or Advisory Board must disclose significant relationships they have with W3C Members other than their employers, when those relationships might reasonably be perceived as creating a conflict of interest with the individual's role at W3C. These disclosures should be kept up-to-date as the individual's affiliations and W3C Membership evolve. Disclosure mechanisms vary according to role and are described elsewhere in this document and at the W3C Web site.

The ability of an individual to fulfill a role within a group without risking a conflict of interests is clearly a function of the individual's affiliations. When these affiliations change, the role in question must be reassigned, possibly to the same individual, according to the process appropriate to the role.

Team members must agree to the W3C Team conflict of interest policy [PUB23].