Policies for Contribution of Test Cases to W3C

Please let us know by writing to site-policy@w3.org if you wish to contribute test cases or a test suite to W3C.

This document discusses patent, copyright, and liability issues surrounding the contribution of test cases to W3C. The purpose of this policy is to clarify the terms for contributing test cases to W3C and to facilitate contributions from Working Group Participants.

1. Provisions

1.1 Licensing Obligations

The following two provisions state the licensing obligations that test case Contributors must agree to in order for W3C to accept their contributions.

  1. If the Contribution is to be published by a Group in a Recommendation Track document governed by the W3C Patent Policy, all parties must agree to the W3C Patent Policy License Requirements. Participants agreed to these Requirements by joining the group. Non-participants must agree to these Requirements either by joining the Group (if eligible) or by agreeing to the terms of Grant I.
  2. If the Contribution is to be published by a Group in a Recommendation Track document that is not governed by the W3C Patent Policy, or if the Contribution is to be published outside a Recommendation Track document, no party has any patent licensing obligations. However, Contributors who are not Participants (W3C Members, Team, or Invited Experts) in that group must agree to the terms of Grant II.

1.2 Definition of Essential Claim Extended to Test Cases

With respect to any Test Suites published as part of a W3C Recommendation, an Essential Claim as defined in the W3C Patent Policy is a claim that is necessarily infringed only when it is not possible to avoid infringing it because there is no non-infringing alternative for implementing a normative feature of the Recommendation in a manner that exhibits the behavior required by such Test Suite.

2. Commentary

The remainder of this document is informative only.

2.1 How to Agree to the Terms of Grants I and II

To agree to Grant I or Grant II (which are online forms), you will need a W3C account. Those not already participating in W3C work can request one through the Public Access Request Form. Contributions made by employees of participating Members are covered by the W3C Patent Policy, whether or not those employees formally represent the Member in the Working Group.

To help foster confidence in the test suites, even in the case where a party has no patent licensing obligations for contributed test suites, we encourage Contributors to use Grant I, by which one agrees to the W3C Patent Policy Licensing Requirements.

2.2 Publication of the Test Suite

Distribution of W3C Test Suites is governed by the Licenses for W3C Test Suites.

In order to protect the Contributor against liability that might appear if a third party relies on the contributed materials and encounters damage, Grant I and Grant II include a disclaimer. Materials retained for publication will be distributed carrying a similar disclaimer.

2.3 Publishing Test Suites as Part Of or Outside a W3C Recommendation

Each Working Group compiles contributed test cases into one or more test suites. The group also decides whether to publish the test suite(s) as part of a W3C Recommendation or outside the Recommendation. There are advantages to each approach:

As Part of a Recommendation
  • Group participants benefit from the W3C Patent Policy commitments they make when joining a Working Group; no extra effort inside their organizations is required of them.
  • Publication as part a Recommendation have lend more normative weight to the test suite. This may affect the level of recognition of the test suite.
  • According to the current policy, inclusion in the Recommendation lowers the risk of surprises because contributors agree to various W3C policies, including the W3C Patent Policy.
Outside a Recommendation
  • Publication outside the Recommendation allows the Working Group to modify the tests without having to rebuild consensus around the changes through the Recommendation Track Process; no Advisory Committee review or Director's Decision is required.
  • According to the current policy, publication outside the Recommendation does not involve any obligations to license patents according to the W3C Patent Policy Licensing Requirements.

2.4 Transfer of Copyright to W3C

If you hold copyright for a set of test cases and wish to transfer copyright to W3C at the same time as you contribute the test cases, please contact Wendy Seltzer at w3t-pr@w3.org.

About this Policy

This test suite contribution policy was developed by the W3C Team. This version of the policy supersedes the previous version.

This policy only applies to Contributions made after the date of the announcement of this policy. It applies to all W3C groups, not just those under the W3C Patent Policy.

This version:
(Announced to the W3C Membership on 17 March 2005.)
Previous version:
(Announced to the W3C Membership on 1 October 2004.)