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Re: ISO intellectual property (was Standards)

Tom Bradford wrote:

> And I'm saying that if the person produces a document that *IS* the W3C
> document with a paragraph added about their little bit, and they're
> going to call it HTML 3.2.1, then they're in violation of copyright,


> but
> if I were to write a one paragraph document that describes an addition,
> and says to refer to the W3C's HTML specification, then they're not in
> violation of copyright.

Right.  The ISO HTML document looks very much like this: it specifies
a few differences, basically in the direction of tightening up, and
then refers to HTML 4.0 Strict for all the semantics; it provides
a different (copyrightwise independent) DTD.

> And unless the term HTML is trademarked, they
> could even call it HTML++ if they wanted to.

Right.  And even then, you can't trademark just any word: a trademark
has to refer to specific goods and services that are sold (*trade*mark)
and are not merely descriptive of the goods (you can't trademark the
name "Blue Jeans" for your line of blue jeans, whereas for a line
of radios it would be perfectly OK).  HTML is descriptive,
and doesn't refer to anything that the W3C sells.

There is / one art             || John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
no more / no less              || http://www.reutershealth.com
to do / all things             || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein