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Re: Linkbases, Topic Maps,and RDF Knowledge Bases -- help me understand, please

[Mike Champion:]
> So, there is one and only one XTM syntax.  That is a very important
> clarification for me.  Is there consensus on who "owns" the syntax
> so that it can evolve?

This is a matter of record; the notion of "consensus" is irrelevant to
your question.  Here is the relevant passage from the Charter of
TopicMaps.Org, which developed the XTM DTD:

  The copyright of XTM will remain with the Participating Members of
  TopicMaps.Org as individuals, collectively identified as
  TopicMaps.Org. No copyright or other intellectual property rights,
  including moral rights, shall be transferred to the Host
  Organization, nor to any Sponsor, nor to the employers of the
  Participating Members. XTM shall be published in such a way that it
  may be used and copied by anyone for any purpose, provided that all
  copies are true and complete, and provided that each copy shall bear
  the copyright notice of TopicMaps.Org, sponsorship notices and all
  other appropriate legal notices designed to protect the interests of
  the public and of TopicMaps.Org, as specified in XTM as formally
  adopted and officially published by TopicMaps.Org.

I think it's very clear that it's entirely up to these individuals how
the XTM syntax will evolve.

Just as obviously, it's up to the marketplace to decide how to use the
intellectual property that these individuals have contributed and will
contribute under the Charter of TopicMaps.Org.  I wish to draw
everyone's attention to the unusually broad license that has been
granted to the public:

  ... [XTM] may be used and copied by anyone for any purpose ...

Therefore, all the ideas contained in XTM are, for all practical
purposes, in the public domain.  My own interpretation of the license
is that the only limitation is that copies of the official XTM
materials are not licensed to claim to be copies of the official
materials (i.e., are not licensed to look as though they are copies of
the materials) unless they are indeed true and complete copies of the
official materials.

Thankfully, we have the Web, so there are few occasions when anybody
needs to make any copies of this stuff.  We can just point at the
relevant portions of http://www.topicmaps.org; it's hard to see how
anyone can go wrong by doing that.

TopicMaps.Org has also made a pledge to the effect that all versions
of XTM will continue to be available indefinitely.  I think this was
done as part of its "open process" policy (Murray Altheim deserves a
lot of credit for this, I think).  Personally, I think this is a Good
Idea, for many reasons.


Steven R. Newcomb, Consultant

voice: +1 972 359 8160
fax:   +1 972 359 0270

405 Flagler Court
Allen, Texas 75013-2821 USA