Difference between revisions of "AB/trademark-license"

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(capture points of agreement, points to discuss, plan, FAQ from email discussion between Tantek and Michael Champion)
(no longer stub, provide summaries at top of Problem Statement, Current W3C Licensing Work, Broader)
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The [[AB]] is working on a combination trademark / license policy to permit more permissive copyright licenses on W3C drafts and specifications.
  
The [[AB]] has created a Trademark License task force (AB members [[Tantek|Tantek Çelik]] and Michael Champion) to build broad consensus on a combination trademark / license policy to potentially permit more permissive copyright licenses on W3C drafts and specifications.
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[[AB]] Trademark License task force members:
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* [[Tantek|Tantek Çelik]]  
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* [[Michael Champion]]
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Goal: build broad consensus on a combination trademark / license policy that permits more permissive copyright licenses.
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== Problem Statement ==
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How did we get here? Why is this a problem?
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The current W3C Copyright license is presenting the following problems:
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* '''Restrictiveness has pushed specs outside W3C''' Some highly productive editors of key web platform specifications have chosen to do their work outside of W3C, due to, among other things, the ability to use more open (liberal) and more standard (not W3C-specific) licenses such as CC0 and OWFa.
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* '''Blocks some spec implementation in Open Source.''' Recently W3C specifications are becoming more and more procedural in style (rather than declarative), in many cases providing (pseudo-)code for implementer incorporation. The W3C Copyright license's restrictions prevent incorporation of such code and/or strings (like error messages) into much open source, e.g. licensed with GPL.
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== Current W3C Licensing Work ==
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What changes to W3C Licensing is actively occurring in W3C specs right now?
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* '''HTMLWG experiment: optional CC-BY for HTML5 extension specs.''' Several HTML5 extension specifications are being developed with the CC-BY license, with the following result:
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** Spec development is proceeding (but nothing "finished" to report)
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** No bad results (the sky didn't fall).
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* '''WebApps WG proposal: URL spec dual license with CC-BY'''
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** Actively being proposed / discussed in AC.
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== Broader Trademark License Work ==
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What is being done to fix licensing W3C-wide?
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* '''AB is working on using trademark instead of copyright'''. Mike and Tantek on the AB, having familiarity with concerns along a broad spectrum of this subject, are working on finding points of consensus on how W3C could use a Trademark License with a liberal copyright license instead of the current W3C Copyright license. The rest of this document show current state of work. This work is being done in the open as part of the [[AB#Open_AB|Open AB efforts]] begun in 2013.
  
This page is representative of that project.
 
  
 
== Consensus Items ==
 
== Consensus Items ==

Revision as of 15:31, 9 June 2014

The AB is working on a combination trademark / license policy to permit more permissive copyright licenses on W3C drafts and specifications.

AB Trademark License task force members:

Goal: build broad consensus on a combination trademark / license policy that permits more permissive copyright licenses.

Problem Statement

How did we get here? Why is this a problem?

The current W3C Copyright license is presenting the following problems:

  • Restrictiveness has pushed specs outside W3C Some highly productive editors of key web platform specifications have chosen to do their work outside of W3C, due to, among other things, the ability to use more open (liberal) and more standard (not W3C-specific) licenses such as CC0 and OWFa.
  • Blocks some spec implementation in Open Source. Recently W3C specifications are becoming more and more procedural in style (rather than declarative), in many cases providing (pseudo-)code for implementer incorporation. The W3C Copyright license's restrictions prevent incorporation of such code and/or strings (like error messages) into much open source, e.g. licensed with GPL.

Current W3C Licensing Work

What changes to W3C Licensing is actively occurring in W3C specs right now?

  • HTMLWG experiment: optional CC-BY for HTML5 extension specs. Several HTML5 extension specifications are being developed with the CC-BY license, with the following result:
    • Spec development is proceeding (but nothing "finished" to report)
    • No bad results (the sky didn't fall).
  • WebApps WG proposal: URL spec dual license with CC-BY
    • Actively being proposed / discussed in AC.

Broader Trademark License Work

What is being done to fix licensing W3C-wide?

  • AB is working on using trademark instead of copyright. Mike and Tantek on the AB, having familiarity with concerns along a broad spectrum of this subject, are working on finding points of consensus on how W3C could use a Trademark License with a liberal copyright license instead of the current W3C Copyright license. The rest of this document show current state of work. This work is being done in the open as part of the Open AB efforts begun in 2013.


Consensus Items

Items on which there is consensus within the task force.

  • Create a public wiki page to track the project (this page AB/trademark-license)
  • Historical note: last time there was a survey on more permissive licensing in HTMLWG there was a lack of consensus, and progress has been made since with the HTML licensing experiment.
  • Using trademark license may provide an alternative to solving the underlying problem that the document license revision tried to address. From AC and AB discussions there may be a broad consensus possible on much of the underlying problem that the document license revision tried to address even if we disagree on using copyright to achieve those goals.
  • It should be clear to the developer community which features in which specs are covered by the broad RF patent commitments that W3C Recommendations carry.
  • There should be some sort of norm strongly encouraging attribution of ideas in derivative works back to their source. This helps maintain a culture of collaboration. The more we can make this simple and easy to do, the better.
  • We need to foster a culture that respects the contributors of specific ideas and texts while recognizing that it they are refined and implemented via an evolutionary process in a larger community. We need to do this within a legally sound but minimally legalistic framework.
  • Several prominent organizations developing and promoting open source software (OSS) use *trademark* policies to define and defend shared norms about how to use and re-use text and code. The Apache Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Linux Foundation, Creative Commons, and others appear to have established trademark policies and executed them at a reasonable cost.

See also the FAQ for additional points of consensus.

Discussion Items

Items requiring further discussion. We are capturing these in an attempt to have a specific list to go through and hopefully resolve.

  • Public mailing list for trademark license discussions: an open-to-all mailing list on the subject of licensing will likely be counter-productive (per above previous experience).
  • Create a public-ab mailing list: (if it already exists, we can document our intent to use it), where only members of the AB can post to it, but the discussions are publicly archived
    • This would also provide a forum for discussing AB projects which we decide are "open by default" and thus further the "Open AB" effort in general.
    • Over time we can hopefully move more AB project discussion traffic from the private AB list to a public-readable AB list.
  • Differences in copyright license approach: Some members including Microsoft have expressed the view that a copyright license that explicitly enables new use cases for W3C documents *except* creating derivative normative specifications is a good way forward, others including Mozilla have expressed the view that W3C specs should be put in the public domain, e.g. with the CC0 copyright waiver.

Plan

  • Work through remaining points of discussion and incrementally increase points of consensus in the process. Document any unresolvable differences.
  • Document publicly known points of agreement and disagreement (being done on AB/trademark-license), and report that to the AC directly. At that point, assuming we can easily iterate based on AC feedback, we may be able to directly scope work for PSIG.
  • Draft a joint message to the AC explaining the rationale for trying to build broad consensus on a combination trademark / license policy that transcends the recent disputes.

FAQ

Community Group

Q: Should we create a community group to have the license scoping discussion?

A: No. It is likely that a Community Group (CG) would be counterproductive based on historical experience with public email threads in various working groups etc. on document licensing. In addition, joining a CG entails agreeing to a Contributor License Agreement. This is unnecessary overhead for this discussion that does not plausibly create or infringe intellectual property.