Re: Fw: Re: DAML+OIL submission to W3C (copyright/patent)

From: Jim Hendler (
Date: 10/22/01

At 10:27 AM -0500 10/22/01, Pat Hayes wrote:
>>(2) we need more explicit copyright license terms.
>>I suggest that you ammend the submission request
>>to include the following text, substituting
>>each of the authors for [party]:
>>   [party] hereby grants to the W3C, a perpetual,
>>   nonexclusive, royalty-free, world-wide right and license under any
>>   [party] copyrights in this contribution to copy, publish and
>>   distribute the contribution, as well as a right and license of the
>>   same scope to any derivative works prepared by the W3C and based on,
>>   or incorporating all or part of the contribution. [Member Company]
>>   further agrees that any derivative works of this contribution prepared
>>   by the W3C shall be solely owned by the W3C.
>After reading the recent discussions surrounding the W3C position on 
>patent policy, I would suggest that this entire matter be put on 
>hold until the RAND licencing terms have been clarified. I for one 
>am not willing to give up any rights of ownership or licence (as 
>opposed to copy, distribute, publish) to an organization  which 
>could become, even if it is not at present, merely a licencing 
>agency for the software (or any other) industry.
>Perhaps the wording could be adjusted so as to explicitly refer to 
>the RF/RAND distinction, and to ensure that DAML+OIL is locked into 
>the RF category?
>Pat Hayes

Folks- I'm totally confused - asked a colleague who is a lawyer, and 
she was even more confused!  We are talking about a document - 
right??  Documents are covered under copyright law, not patent law. 
She believes IP on documents is well covered, and in fact they (the 
law firm) see no reason why W3C insists on anything other than a (C) 
on the document (so authors keep copyright) and a letter of 
permission letting them reprint and deliver.   The tools and code for 
anything that uses DAML+OIL are an issue, but author of a TR wouldn't 
have any claim on those tools - we could simply be cited as prior art 
in a patent application, etc.

Anyway, she expressed surprise that MIT has any words about 
derivative works in a copyright statement, but assume they mean that 
this would only include taking pieces of this document and inccluding 
in other documents.  She saw no reason why anyone would have any 
trouble with signing this FOR A DOCUMENT (and expressed tremendous 
surpise that anyone would even consider signing it for someting other 
than a document) with one exception -- She does say that this gives 
W3C the right to SELL the TR to someone else and keep the money - but 
given the work is published on the web, there wouldn't be a big 

anyway, this was just quick response from a friend, and in no way 
covers any major legal advice etc.  However, I'm happy to be 
protected by normal copyright law and suggest we sign the damned 
thing and move on.

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