[Standards] XEP Authors

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Thu Jun 8 21:08:20 UTC 2017


Folks,

I came across an interesting case recently where a listed author of an
open standard was presumed to know the contents of the specification
fully - that is, as if they had written every word. Moreover, by
inference so was their employer. This came up in an IPR court case.

The (very high) level detail is here:

https://github.com/w3c/webrtc-pc/issues/942#issuecomment-277034696

I'm considering advising Board that we should address this by
instituting a policy whereby changes to XEPs result in all listed
authors being notified (a PR will do, I imagine), and those who do not
respond within a reasonable time (hand-wave, hand-wave) must be
de-listed and moved to a "Previous Authors" section of the XEP.

Note that this is *NOT* intended as a punishment for unresponsive
authors, hence the "Previous Authors" section - it's to protect
authors and their employers from legal action.

I have to admit I'm surprised that such legal considerations exist,
but the central argument - that if your name is on a document, you're
presumed to know what it contains - seems sufficiently intuitive that
we should take notice.

Comments?

Dave.


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