[tei-council] ODD headers and licensing terms for customizations provided by TEI-C

Martin Holmes mholmes at uvic.ca
Tue Aug 10 13:11:28 EDT 2010

On 10-08-10 08:38 AM, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> On 10 Aug 2010, at 16:18, Martin Holmes wrote:
>> Although on consideration, it might be a thornier problem than I
>> originally thought. Wouldn't we have to get permission from every
>> contributor for a change of licensing? That's been a problem for
>> open-source projects in the past.
> No, because we have always worked on the principle that the TEIC
> owns the IPR, not the individual. Actually, legally, we are in a mess,
> because none of us has explicitly assigned our rights to the TEIC
> via a contributor agreement, but can we agree to pretend I didn't mention
> that?

We may agree, but previous contributors will always have the right to 
disagree, and to block our attempts to change licensing terms on text 
they wrote, because of the absence of a contributor agreement. So the 
next question is: is this issue worth pursuing at all? If so, then we 
really would have to think about contacting everyone and getting them to 
sign an agreement. If that's too complicated to contemplate, then I 
think we're really stuck with the existing licence (not that that is 
bad, necessarily).

>> schemas are two different types of thing. I don't think there's much to
>> gain from trying to place any restrictions on the use and distribution
>> of schemas. We all have everything to gain and nothing to lose from
>> wider adoption of TEI-based schemas, and "forking" is customization,
>> which we openly encourage.
> but not by tweaking the actual schema, surely?

I'm perhaps not really clear on what "the actual schema" is in this 
case. I can't honestly see why we would mind. How is tweaking the actual 
schema not just customization?

>>>    YES: someone sells eBook versions of the Guidelines translated into Greek, and makes the source changes available
>>>     NO:  someone sells eBook versions of the Greek Guidelines, but does it by translating HTML output
>> I would say YES to this. I don't care how they generate their text, as
>> long as they acknowledge the source.
>>>     YES: someone makes changes to Lite, calls it MyLite, and distributes it as ODD + PDF + DTD
>>>      NO: someone produces MyLite.dtd by editing teilite.dtd and distributes it
>> Again, I would say YES to this. Who cares how they arrive at their
>> schema? It's a TEI schema -- we should be glad they're using and
>> distributing it.
> these are big philosophical questions, which we should resolve. The
> GPL licence we use now would enforce my NOs, I believe, so if everyone
> now believes this is wrong, we had better revisit with (with the Board).

The current GPL licence would (possibly) allow us to enforce those NOs 
if we wanted to. We might still agree that we don't care to, because 
it's not in the interest of propagating TEI.


> Sebastian Rahtz
> Information Manager, Oxford University Computing Services
> 13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431
> Sólo le pido a Dios
> que el futuro no me sea indiferente
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Martin Holmes
University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre
(mholmes at uvic.ca)
Half-Baked Software, Inc.
(mholmes at halfbakedsoftware.com)
martin at mholmes.com

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