[uf-discuss] Re: Voluntary Public Domain declarations now enabled on the wiki

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Tue Jul 24 11:02:45 PDT 2007

On 7/21/07 2:35 AM, "Andy Mabbett" <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:

> In message <C2C6A18B.924CA%tantek at cs.stanford.edu>, Tantek Çelik
> <tantek at cs.stanford.edu> writes
>> On 7/20/07 4:35 PM, "Andy Mabbett" <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
>>> I applaud him for doing so; but, at the time of writing, copyright in
>>> both hCalendar and hCard is still claimed, in part, by "Technorati,
>>> Inc.", by virtue of their being one of the three listed authors,
>> Technorati is not listed as an author, but merely my (and a few
>> others') affiliation at the time of authoring the spec(s).
>> However, I can very much see how that could be misinterpreted so I have
>> edited the affiliation text of the specifications of which I am an
>> author/editor/contributor to be in the style used by W3C specifications
> Thank you for the clarification. I'm unclear as to why such an
> affiliation is relevant,

Tradition. Indicating authors' affiliation(s) is a common practice among
standards organizations (e.g. W3C, IETF).

> if you were not acting on behalf of Technorati
> at the time of writing the spec (your connection to them is, after all,
> mentioned on your user page, should anyone be interested), but that's
> now incidental.

As I was employed by Technorati at the time, I was acting both in the
interests of microformats and Technorati.

> The hCalendar and hCard specs now each have two authors (you and Brain
> Suda), both of whom have kindly released your work into PD - so the
> statement that "Microformats copyright ... statements apply." and "This
> specification is (C) 2004-2007 by the author" are now either
> contradictory, or simply wrong. Please will you amend the spec to clear
> up that ambiguity, as you have done on Geo and Adr?

Thanks to Brian Suda for also explicitly releasing his contributions to
hCard and hCalendar to the public domain.

Certainly the MicroFormatCopyrightStatement appears confusing next to the
authors' public domain releases.

Accordingly, since all the authors of those specifications have released
their work explicitly to the public domain, I've removed the
MicroFormatCopyrightStatement and added a general statement of public domain
release and a MicroFormatPublicDomainContributionStatement as replacement
for the contributor agreements portion of the previous

I have also placed the MicroFormatPublicDomainContributionStatement on the
specs for which I am sole author/editor such as adr, geo, and rel-license
for the same reasons.

> I take it that you're also aware that making such a spec PD means that
> there's no recourse, other than community disapprobation, if someone
> should republish it, with extra, removed, or changed properties?

We are in fact making two statements with this increasing move towards
public domain microformats specs.

1) We believe the microformats community has garnered sufficient respect of
the broader web community and is strong enough to be stewards of the
microformats specs even with them being released to the public domain.  Yes
someone else could go fork/mutate our specs, but I expect that community
disapprobation (as you say) and pressure to pass the test cases and
interoperate with the compliant implementations will be sufficient.

2) Open standards for data formats should be in the public domain, owned by
no one, free to all to use and implement, across time and space.  We are the
first standards related organization or community to ever put any of their
specs in the public domain AFAIK.

>> all the work I have done on microformats when employed by Technorati
>> was done very much in and for the community and I have taken the extra
>> step of releasing my work into the public domain to be even more
>> explicit.
> Doing so is laudable and I look forward to seeing
> the authors of other published microformats doing likewise.

Thanks Andy.

I look forward to seeing you release your contributions to the microformats
community to the public domain as well.



More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list