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RE: namespace copyright, trademark patent question


namespace copyright


Winchel 'Todd' Vincent III wrote:


>If one can copyright or patent a schema (or any other xml document),
then
>one can also exclude/prevent others from using the schema (or any other
xml
>document).
Yeah, although this is also somewhat weird in that you can copyright an
xml document as xml, even though the text it 'marks-up' is in the public
domain. 

>This is a bad thing for
>interoperability, but a for-profit company might reasonably decide to
do
>this if it deemed this were in its best business interests.

Bad things for interoperability in the interest of business are
generally seen as being abusive by developers I think, at any rate it is
hard for me to see it otherwise. 

>On the other hand, the ability to copyright and patent schema can be a
very
>good thing for interoperability *if* coupled with an appropriate
"general
>public license" (I'm using "general public license" in a generic
sense).

Insofar as there is a general license given at the first issuance of the
schema, yes, as it would prevent later business-based decisions by the
issuer to restrict the schema. This was why I worried specifically about
namespaces, namespaces as far as I know have not been given any specific
rights yet by the courts and none have been reserved for any specific
namespace that I know of, if I were to go back to English Common Law I
might suppose that this would be taken to mean that no rights exist for
a namespace if those rights have not been reserved, but I am of the
worrisome type that supposes rather at some point business reasons will
compel some company to argue that their declaration of a namespace is in
fact an implicit reservation of rights for the markup to which that
namespace refers, and if that happens things will start going
pear-shaped quickly.



>I have been working on a General Public License (which I'm happy to
share
>with this list if anyone is interested) tailored specifically for
schema in
>different namespaces.  The main points follow:

well I'm interested, it might be cool to have it somewhere one can
access. The question is if it could be based on the creative commons
work - http://www.creativecommons.org/ 


>Whether or not extended elements should be published back to the owners
is
>probalby something to be decided on a case-by-case basis.  Suppose
Company >A
>spends five years and a lot of money to create schema/namespace A and
>builds
>software around it.  Company B comes along and in one month, uses and
>extends schema/namespace A with schema/namespace B and builds software
>around it.  Company B now has a product that has more features in it (A
+ >B)
>than Company A's product.  

I am liable to be Socially Darwinian about such a scenario, even though
it might come back to haunt me :)
If Company A took 5 years to build something and Company B builds
something with more capabilities in one month then Company A should
wander off into the nearest tarpit and duck.



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