Legal Team/Minutes/2016-01-07

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  • Jilayne Lovejoy
  • Sam Ellis
  • Kris Reeves
  • Paul Madick
  • Kate Stewart
  • Alan Tse
  • Brad Edmundsen


1) A discussion came up on the tech team regarding how to identify when there truly is no license and a package is just “all rights reserved” - please read the thread here: including my response at the bottom.

  • issue in Node and NPM - they were looking at specification for node package, has a license field, but may not have room for other info as is done in SPDX specification; looking for what to populate that field with. For more info, see:
  • what can we do to help the situation? more than explanation on bugzilla needed?
  • Kris suggested something in the Appendix to clarify use of NONE or NOASSERTION v. license expression or get NPM to modify to support for that use case in NPM nit command
  • seems also helpful to add clarification to Appendix IV in spec - Jilayne to propose additional language (e.g., NONE as a valid option as license expression) - put as a bug and assign to Kate
  • NONE makes sense (for Node) to be a valid "license expression" b/c there is no "i don't know" when it's the author declaring the license; NOASSERTION doesn't make sense in this case (unless developer was waiting on legal for approval). Although, looks like NPM is now suggesting "unlicensed" - so want to catch this sooner than later
  • also would help to amend node documentation to point this out b/c people coming in there may not be looking at SPDX spec - Kris to open a bug to amend language, once we have language ready from SPDX side

2) Please review the 2016 priorities list, which is now posted here: I’ll be looking for people to take the lead on some of these items. Regarding the markup project - as we have earmarked this as a main priority for 2016 and this discussion has been resurrected on the tech call recently, please re-familiarize yourself with this topic before our call tomorrow.

  • (update on where we were)
  • tech team has earmarked call for Jan 19 for joint discussion; Kate will send invite to legal and tech teams with specific dial-in next week

3) Open Gaming License

  • Alan did some research - license seems to try to cover various aspects, including mechanics of game and things related to brand identity; seems like IP law concepts got a bit muddled in license drafting and perhaps trying to cover things by copyright that aren't really copyright-able. trying to draw a line b/w what can be modified/shared and what can't (this stuff is often bundled together)
  • it is kind of a documentation license and we do have other documentation licenses (FDL, CC licenses)
  • question as to open-ness of license - attempts to allow "open game content" to be open, but limits open license to this and not "product identity" aspects. Kris explained this as rules/mechanical functional part v. settings/universe in games and otherwise tried to educate those of us who are clueless on gaming as to what this license is trying to achieve
  • common of license? Alan thinks it is common within the gaming industry
  • kind of open, but then not. how do we balance "open-ness" v. "use"? would wide use and more requests to add tip the balance? We have prioritized open-ness
  • Brad wonders if the intent of the license was actually to have more items included in "open game content" definition than is articulated
  • Wizards of the Coast owns (c) of license and uses it; they are big deal and means that
  • Decision: license is not open enough, too many restrictions