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I was just thinking about the legal ramifications of namespaces as a way
to control interoperability. It seems to me that a vendor could, with
bad motives aplenty, decide to prohibit other companies via exorbitant
pricing/licensing from building tools that processed their namespace
with the same result as the namespace(or just profit from people
building such tools). If the above seems to be an ambiguous statement
please excuse me, I was thinking specifically of an svg document I saw
yesterday, it had a lot of adobe extensions from Illustrator 10(note
this is not an adobe bashing post, I just use them cause their
convenient), here's a list:
there don't seem to be any rddl documents for these :(
I don't know if any rights have been registered for namespaces anywhere,
and I would assume that if rights haven't been registered for a
particular namespace then it's too late, but the logic on which law is
built can be warped quite quickly when millions of dollars are involved.
Hmm, probably a good thing that there aren't any rddl documents at the
end of those urls as a clever lawyer might argue that the reachability
of the url used to bind the namespace via the web on a domain owned by a
particular company would suffice to register the namespace as the
property of that company.
Certainly I can, without any great legal apprehensions consume an svg
document in my application whether or not it has these namespaces, I
suppose also that if I process the namespaced elements/ or attributes I
would not be opening myself up to repercussions but I'm thinking that if
I processed the namespaced elements to do something similar to what
adobe does with them, which would I suppose be an xml form of reverse
engineering, then I might find myself in a gray area.
I sort of feel maybe I shouldn't post this but what the hell, just doing
my part to make the world a cheerier place.
PS: Checking through google I see there has been some discussion of
this(http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200208/msg01388.html) but it
was more in the area of "why namespaces are bad" and the common
consensus seemed to be that it would not be a legal problem, I'm
thinking this scenario better illustrates problem area.