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RE: ISO intellectual property (was Standards)

So, embrace and extend is not only legal, it is ethical, right, and should
be practiced 
widely as long as one does not copy the contents of the web page or the help
Since you seldom care, a simple legal looking letter protects that so it is
cheap to keep.

In answer to the questions: 

o  Where should SAX live?  Anywhere.  It can't be protected (no legal

o  Of what value are standards vs specifications?  It totally 
   depends on the perception of the content.  As to the concepts, 
   there isn't much difference.  They can't be protected.

o  What is of value in IP?  Patents.  Get them as fast as 
   you can on *anything* you can.  The cost of overturning a 
   patent far outstrips the cost of getting it and therefore, 
   as a simple business expedient, it has value and can be 

o  Of what value are standards organizations and consortia? 
   Buy in.  They are free to take each others developments at will. 
   Go with the gang that takes fastest.   What is theirs is yours 
   and what is yours is yours if you don't submit it.

o  What should be corporate policy with regards to open 
   development?  Openness is to be avoided strategically until 
   after you field it.   

   The risks of open development are simply too great 
   if the value is in the patents or penetration.  Proprietary systems win 
   except in cases where systems developed over open standards 
   come down to the "last software standing" and in that case, 
   it happens with the cooperation of the frat brothers who 
   may or may not understand the outcome.  It is best to 
   ensure your competitors cooperate themselves to bankruptcy.

The W3C is a frat house.  ISO isn't but only because 
government types don't do drugs.


Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: David LeBlanc [mailto:whisper@oz.net]

Hope you don't mind my barging in...

> > Don Park wrote:
> > Both Common-XML and Minimal-XML are subsets of XML, so I guess the
> > same argument can be made that SML-DEV misappropriated W3C's
> > intellectual property.  Right or wrong, its a twisted trail.
> >
> > It was my understanding that W3C has trademarked the word "XML" and
> > copyrighted every specifications it produces.  If my understanding is
> > right, then W3C is claiming ownership over some words and a growing
> > set of specific word sequences, not ideas nor concepts.
> According to international copyright law, any document that is produced
> is automatically protected by copyright, registered or not.  But from
> what I understand, it doesn't disallow derived works, or external
> referencing from other documents.  If it did, the entire WWW would be a
> massive copyright violation.   And a trademark only protectes the use of
> a name, not a process or specification.

You can refer to anything without penalty, but derivation is copyright

There is a difference between a registered trademark and a simple trademark.
Registered marks take awhile to get, are fairly expensive and invloves
"clearing" the word to ensure it has not been previously used (phrases are
"service marks" and they too can be registered), public notification (often
done in obscure newspapers published primarliy for the purpose) and payment
of a fairly hefty fee to the registering agency. At least in the past,
Tunisia was a popular place to register trademarks since it's fees where so

WRT to "XML" itself, the W3C may have claimed a trademark, but I question
it's validity (ymmv - consult competent legal counsel if it really matters).
You can claim tradmark on almost any word, but there are restrictions: you
can't successfully trademark well known words in common use such as "Supreme
Court", nor is trademarking numeric strings such as "8086" allowed (Intel
tried this and lost). I don't think TLA's are trademarkable either, but
since the W3C has bigger legal guns then I have or will ever hope to have..

OTOH, "Mini-XML" isn't the same as "XML". I'm not at all clear on this, but
I don't think you own all uses of a word. For example Microsoft can't get
away with trademarking or registering "Word", but "MsWord" they can since
it's unique. It doesn't preclude someone from trademarking/registering, for
example, "AbiWord"

> So things like Common-XML and Minimal-XML are perfectly within their
> right to derive from XML, just as the W3C was perfectly within its
> rights to dervice from SGML and even go so far as to make references to
> ISO documents.

You can quote from it under the "fair usage" doctrine, but wholesale
importation of text is infringing. This is like a habbit i've heard of done
by the GPL gang: Taking an open source, adding some relatively small
additions to the work and then publishing (making avalilable) under the GPL
with the idea that they've defeated the original copyright holder's intent.
This is clearly plagarism/theft of intellectual property. (Little tricks
like this is what is ultimately going to lead to the downfall of the GPL
imo. BTW, this is not something I made up - i've chatted with authors so

If by derivation you mean "take ideas from" or use "standard elements from"
(like the dtd) and write your own document, that's totally legal. As noted,
you own only the expression of the idea, not the idea itself.

> > I care less about intellectual properties and more about good simple
> > designs.  For the past couple of weeks, I have been looking at SNMP in
> > detail.  I don't know about you guys, but SNMP goes in the same basket
> > as SGML.
> I dunno, I think considering how complex and twisted XML has become, I'd
> rather write a bunch of SNMP hooks.

<shudder> I agree. People who do drugs ought not to be allowed to write
network protocols, at least not while high ;-) Ditto for SGML and (horrors)
DSSSL (that extra "s" should have been enough of a clue).