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   Re: Ownership of Names (was Re: Public identifiers and topic maps)

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  • From: "W. Eliot Kimber" <eliot@dns.isogen.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 21:26:36 -0500

At 05:35 PM 9/28/98 -0500, Steven R. Newcomb wrote:

>> Thus, I own the name space.
>If you owned the Internet Domain Namespace, you'd be collecting the
>money, not InterNIC.  So you must mean that you own the hierarchy of
>namespaces of which the namespace whose own name is "drmacro.com" is
>the root.  


>> I can argue that I also own the names within that name space because
>> I also control the machine that has the resources that those names
>> will map.
>Exactly right, except for the first "also".

I own the name space "drmacro.com" and the names within it. That's what I

>> So I maintain my assertion that names, not just name spaces, are
>> ownable things.
>If you own the namespace, you own the names that are in it.  If not,
>not.  The fact that you own a namespace says nothing about whether or
>not you own a namespace containing a name of the namespace that you

Sure. This is true despite the fact that one particular name space granting
authority doesn't grant full ownership in the names it manages (just as the
government can sell you land or lease it). Other authorities do grant full
rights in names (e.g., the ISO 9070 registration authority, the ISBN, etc.).

>"Ownership" is a very strong term -- way too strong for the
>arrangement under which you control "drmacro.com" in the Internet
>Domain Name namespace.

I think we agree that there are at least two forms of control over a thing:
outright ownership and leasing/licensing.  Both afford you control, but
ownership affords more control.  But for this discussion, I think they come
to the same thing.

Whether the InterNIC should lease or sell names is a matter for society to
work out, I think.  Lawyers, start your engines....


<Address HyTime=bibloc>
W. Eliot Kimber, Senior Consulting SGML Engineer
ISOGEN International Corp.
2200 N. Lamar St., Suite 230, Dallas, TX 75202.  214.953.0004

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