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chairs message

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Subject: software licenses

An issue has arisen in the Entity Resolution TC which I think has 
to be solved at an OASIS level, and I think some discussion 
amongst the chairs will also be useful.

The situation is that we have a specification, which is covered by 
the OASIS copyright, and basically nobody can change it except 
for the committee. That's fine.

Then we have some code, in this case code written by John 
Cowan, which implements certain bits of the specification or 
related ideas (e.g., to translate 9401 catalogs to xcatalogs). John 
wishes these to be basically public domain, changeable, he wants 
to be known as the original author, and also wants the code to be 
available for some time. Howver, it is not a work product of the 

So there are a few issues here. 
1) OASIS has (at least implicitly) guaranteed that work products of 
the committee will be available ad infinitum
2) how long can we expect the web pages of committees to 
remain, once the committee has been disbanded?
3) how long can we expect mail archives of committees to remain, 
once the committee has been disbanded?
4) what happens to related products such as code which the 
committee itself doesn't produce, but they are useful and it would 
be handy to have them somewhere for people to find, even if the 
committee itself doesn't exist any more?

Until such time as the web page for the ER TC disappears, we can 
link to the code from there, and we can also link to the email 
archives until they also disappear. But we need to know how long 
that might be.

I can imagine other TCs might want to release software as part of 
the committee work; W3C found it necessary to have a separate 
software license since conditions on software and documents are 
different. I think this could be necessary for OASIS as well.


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