OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   RE: Didier's lab report

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]
  • From: Didier PH Martin <martind@netfolder.com>
  • To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>, north@synopsys.COM,xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 12:53:23 -0500

Hi len,

Claude said:
Umm.. maybe.  The issue raised by
Didier about trans/including improper
fragments (eg, content sans ad) is
a fairly old problem.  The *content*
has to assert rights with regards
to reuse.  That a topic map can
point to a bit of content and include
a traversal rule might enable better
navigation, but the assertion of
right to copy still should be a locally
set policy which the implementor of
the trans/including system must respect
by law.  Policy before code; always.

Just because it can be built doesn't
mean it is legal to use.  Note the
cases with cable descramblers.

Didier replies:
Its even worse Len. Imagine now that I have a special browser equipped with
a stylesheet that can transform any XHTML document into...XHTML but this
time without any double click advertising (just doing this let you remove at
least 50% of the web's ads). In this case, it is perfectly legal except if
the law state that the user has the obligation to read the document without
any transformation. I am not a lawyer but I think it is legal to transform
any content for its own consumption.

Now talking about jurisprudence and the legal nightmare... Is this still
legal if the content is going through a gateway that the users pays as a
service and which remove the double click ads. Thus, is it legal if the
transcoder is present on the user's machine. But is it legal if the
transcoder is located on a server somewhere and the user rents this kind of

Note: too bad guys (or Ozzie as Oche said), you cannot have a patent for
this, it is stated in a public domain document :-))

Funny problem isn'it? And we should not think that this is not actually
possible since all content is formatted in HTML. The transcoder may
transform the content in XHTML, then process it with the style sheet and
give that back to the user. All this can be performed with off the shelf
tools (note: shit an other chance to get a patent is gone :-)

I have this kind of thing on my desktop just for the fun of it (note: Oh no,
big brother will get me :-) We have to explore the legal issues here since
we navigate in strange waters. As an example which is not based on XML
technologies (I think so but I am not 100% sure), just take a look at
Octopus (http://www.octopus.com), they just do that. The user can extract
document fragments and include these fragments in their workspace. This
seems legal since nobody intended a legal battle against Octopus. And if we
continue our reasoning based on the British origins of our law. It is legal
until jurisprudence tells us it is not or until someone intent a legal
action and therefore creates the jurisprudence. Funny world isn't it?

So it seems that:

If the end user do this kind of inclusion it is legal,
if a content provider perform this kind of inclusion it may be not legal and
the "includer" may be the object of a legal action.
Octopus provides a new kind of browser where the user can include any
document fragments into their universe (a workspace). However, they can
publish their workspace and thus may infringe some copyrights. But if we
provide an XML based browser performing simple transcoding (HTML to XHTML,
then filter the XHTML with XSLT to remove the double click ads) and if the
user cannot publish again the content, this may be legal since it would be
like cutting and pasting articles on a newspaper (which up to now is a legal
activity). So I guess that it becomes illegal if the content is included an
published again. However, the sites where the content is extracted may have
a hard time to recognize it since it may be totally different after a
transformation. Even worse, it may seamlessly be well integrated in the look
and feel of the including document. Even worse, the data itself may come
from a third party and included in an HTML page. Then an inclusion processor
may transform an HTML document into XHTML, include a fragment in an XML
document, transform the whole XML document into a rendering language. There
are no relation to the original data since all the operations occur on the
"inclusion" server. For instance, take a look at the following site and this
is precisely what you'll see: http://www.ia.com. Again, in that case I am
not sure this is what they do, but what they do is replicable with off the
shelf software (like an HTML to XHTML transcoder and an XSLT stylesheet)

yes indeed the web is a funny world...

Didier PH Martin
Email: martind@netfolder.com
Conferences: xml devcon 2000 (http://www.xmldevcon2000.com)
		 Wireless Summit NY (http:www.pulver.com)
	       xml devcon 2001 London (http://www.xmldevcon2000.com)
Book: XML Professional (http://www.wrox.com)
column: xml.com (http://www.xml.com)


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS