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Re: Copyrighting schemas, Hailstorm

"Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com> writes:

> Clay Shirky has an article on Hailstorm up at:
> http://www.openp2p.com/pub/a/p2p/2001/05/30/hailstorm.html
> Shirky raises copyright and control as a central issue in Microsoft's
> Hailstorm strategy:
> >This is the most audacious aspect of HailStorm, and the core of the
> >describe-and-defend strategy. Microsoft wants to create a schema which
> >describes all possible user transactions, and then copyright that
> >schema, in order to create and manage the ontology of life on the
> >Internet. In HailStorm as it was described, all entities, methods, and
> >transactions will be defined and mediated by Microsoft or
> >Microsoft-licensed developers, with Microsoft acting as a kind of
> >arbiter of descriptions of electronic reality:
> We've had discussions of whether copyrighting a schema has any
> implications for control.  I can definitely see limitations on derived
> works, which strikes me as unfortunate, but I'd really like to have a
> clearer explanation from someone as to how intellectual property and XML
> interact in the legal world...

Shirky's worry doesn't fit with my understanding of copyright.  A
copyright is not a patent.  A work must clearly be derived _in its
expression_, not its substance, from the original, to be an infringing
derivative.  Otherwise for example no songs about, well, almost
anything, would be publishable.


  Henry S. Thompson, HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh
          W3C Fellow 1999--2001, part-time member of W3C Team
     2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
	    Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht@cogsci.ed.ac.uk
		     URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/