[cc-devel] Malformed HTML in CC licences

Nathan Yergler nathan at yergler.net
Thu Jan 5 00:40:18 EST 2012

Yikes. Regardless of whether they're well formed as XML, these do need
to be well formed HTML to fulfill the promise that they operate as
linked data documents. In the case of the extraneous span close tag,
that looks like a bug in the template
that's going to be present in every core deed generated.


On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 5:29 PM, Richard Smith <richard at ex-parrot.com> wrote:
> Some of the current generation of CC licences including
>   http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/
> are malformed, whether parsed as HTML or XML.  These are not
> problems with the extra RDFa attributes that are to be
> anticipated (and only affect the validity but not the
> wellformedness of the document).  An example is the </span>
> tag on line 280.  Less serious problems exist with failure
> to escaping '&' in URL attributes three times on line 396
> and '<' in scripts twice on line 690.  Similar issues with
> exist in comparable places in the other CC licences that I
> have checked (admitedly not the whole suite).
> Would it be possible to fix the licences so that they are
> all well-formed XML, please?
> This is considerably more serious and therefore urgent than
> a run-of-the-mill malformed HTML problem because the
> licences are supposed to be machine readable to allow RDFa
> parsers to glean ccREL metadata from the licence.  One of
> the more popular RDFa parsers (Redland's) is unable to cope
> at all, and even if the parser can recover, it could easily
> result in some of the metadata being silently dropped.  If a
> program is deciding whether to make a public copy of a
> document based on the ccREL metadata (as my code is), this
> could have serious legal consequences.
> Thanks
> Richard Smith
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