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   Re: [xml-dev] General Public License for DTD and Schema

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Winchel 'Todd' Vincent III scripsit:

> The GPL has been posted at the following link and I would apprecaite any
> comments you have on it.

Okay, my comments:

"General Public License".  It's just a bad idea to use this name for anything
but the GNU GPL: there are too many people who understand "GPL" unqualified
to mean "GNU GPL".  (I am not saying "dilution", I am not saying "dilution" ...)
Pick a new name, like XML-Legal Public License.

"view, use":  These are not rights reserved to the copyright owner by the
Copyright Act.  Just having a link to the license isn't going to reserve
them either (_Specht v. Netscape_).  If you really want to reserve those
rights you need something much stronger involving a clear manifestation of
assent.  The same applies to reverse engineering, which is explicitly
*allowed* by the case law.  I suggest simply removing these terms.

"fee or royalty":  This makes it impossible for the work to be redistributed
via CD-ROM or other medium that is sold.  This is a Bad Thing and violates
the OSD.

"Confidentiality":  The notion of confidential information which is freely
revealed to all just doesn't pass the laugh test.  I suggest removing this
whole section.

"published to the Owners":  This is too strong.  It's just too hard for
people who make modifications and then issue them to have to update zillions
of copyright owners individually.  Consistently with the OSD as interpreted,
you can at most require that the modifications are made available to the
public, and a single notification of perpetual effect that says where the
modifications are.  Even that much is burdensome.

"Derivative Works are Not Permitted":  This whole section of course blatantly
violates the OSD.  What I think you want to achieve by it, should be
achieved by other means, such as by requiring people to make name changes
or simply annotate what they have changed.  This is what W3C does for DTDs, 
schemas, and bindings (see

The license does not grant any patent rights necessary to the use of the
IP.  This is no longer safe for customers.

The license does not warrant that the IP actually belongs to the claimed
copyright holder.

"Georgia":  This makes it awkward for people outside the U.S. to use the
license.  It would be better, if you are going to impose a choice of law,
to impose the licensor's.

John Cowan   jcowan@reutershealth.com  http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Most languages are dramatically underdescribed, and at least one is 
dramatically overdescribed.  Still other languages are simultaneously 
overdescribed and underdescribed.  Welsh pertains to the third category.
        --Alan King


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