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   Re: A call for open source DTDs

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  • From: Dean Roddey <roddey@us.ibm.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 13:58:55 -0400

>Let me elaborate a little on the problem.  Let us suppose we have a DTD for
>plumbing. This DTD is copyright 1998 International Plumbers Association.
>Can I legally place the DTD is an XML document of my own creation? The
>answer is no. That would be the same as including an entire poem or other
>work in my document rather than quoting a part of it.

Irregardless of the legal issues, couldn't you make the practical argument that
anyone wishing to set themselves up as the all seeing all knowing metadocument
in some heavily travelled area, and making their DTD the ubiquitous and offical
referent would pretty much have to allow all of the uses that you mention? If
they don't, i.e. they limit its use or people's ability to freely embed it as
required, they the rest of the world is likely to just end run them and develop
their own most likely? I have a hard time imagining any DTD which is so complex
that if a lot of people needed it and one person had one with onerous usibility
constraints, that ten other people or organizations wouldn't just in and fix
the problem. So maybe some of these worries might be more technical than
practical perhaps? I would think that if I were that organization, and I wanted
my DTD to be ubiquitous, I'd allow any quoting or reference or embedding, with
a requirement to maintain a statement of my authorship and not to distribute mo
dified copies of it without making that clear. Does anyone think that DTDs are
going to be such a source of income that issues other than retaining
intellectual credit and control of content is going to be really big issues?

Just a thought... but then again I'm a pinko commie shareware author :-)

Dean Roddey
Software Weenie
IBM Center for Java Technology - Silicon Valley

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