On 01/12/2014 10:45 PM, Ruediger Landmann wrote:
> Hi --
> I've been looking at shipping the DITA (Darwin Information Typing
> Architecture) XML schema, but noticed a copyright notice on the XML
> catalog file at
> <!-- (C) Copyright OASIS Open 2005, 2009. -->
> <!-- (C) Copyright IBM Corporation 2001, 2004. -->
> <!-- All Rights Reserved. -->
> which seems to preclude redistribution
> When I asked the DITA technical committee about this, the chair directed
> me to the notices here:
> state in part:
> "This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
> others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or
> assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and
> distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind,
> provided that the above copyright notice and this section are included
> on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself
> may not be modified in any way, including by removing the copyright
> notice or references to OASIS, except as needed for the purpose of
> developing any document or deliverable produced by an OASIS Technical
> Committee (in which case the rules applicable to copyrights, as set
> forth in the OASIS IPR Policy, must be followed) or as required to
> translate it into languages other than English."
> and asked me to include that notice with any distribution of DITA.
> Is this OK to ship? Is this license properly described as "Copyright
Wow. This is a... fun one. The OASIS spec license, which seems to apply
to the catalog-dita.xml is clearly non-free, because it does not permit
unrestricted modification (the wording around "derivative works" might
have permitted this, except that it is limited to "derivative works that
comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation",
which is A) painfully narrow B) difficult to determine compliance and C)
a restriction on modification in either case.
That said, this is on an XML file. If we consider an XML file to be
content (rather than code), then the OASIS spec license (barely) meets
the Content licensing requirements. If we consider it to be code, it
definitely is not kosher for Fedora.
XML as a format straddles the line between code and content. It can be
used to make a phone book (content) or it can be used to structure code.
In this case, it is being used as a DTD for documents.
My gut instinct here is that this is code, not content (on the grounds
that this file is effectively "compiled" into other documents, and thus,
not okay for Fedora. That said, if FESCo disagrees with me, and declares
this case to be content, it would be acceptable (and I'd add a new entry
for the OASIS spec license to the content list). Please let me know if
you decide to ask FESCo (and they determine it is content), so that I
can add it to the list if needed.
Would this affect any other DTDs Fedora is shipping? Many of them are
used widely in our XML and HTML validation tools, so as a former docs
guy this opinion caught my attention.
Paul W. Frields