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   RE: [xml-dev] namespace copyright, trademark patent question

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Winchel 'Todd' Vincent III wrote:

>If one can copyright or patent a schema (or any other xml document),
>one can also exclude/prevent others from using the schema (or any other
Yeah, although this is also somewhat weird in that you can copyright an
xml document as xml, even though the text it 'marks-up' is in the public

>This is a bad thing for
>interoperability, but a for-profit company might reasonably decide to
>this if it deemed this were in its best business interests.

Bad things for interoperability in the interest of business are
generally seen as being abusive by developers I think, at any rate it is
hard for me to see it otherwise. 

>On the other hand, the ability to copyright and patent schema can be a
>good thing for interoperability *if* coupled with an appropriate
>public license" (I'm using "general public license" in a generic

Insofar as there is a general license given at the first issuance of the
schema, yes, as it would prevent later business-based decisions by the
issuer to restrict the schema. This was why I worried specifically about
namespaces, namespaces as far as I know have not been given any specific
rights yet by the courts and none have been reserved for any specific
namespace that I know of, if I were to go back to English Common Law I
might suppose that this would be taken to mean that no rights exist for
a namespace if those rights have not been reserved, but I am of the
worrisome type that supposes rather at some point business reasons will
compel some company to argue that their declaration of a namespace is in
fact an implicit reservation of rights for the markup to which that
namespace refers, and if that happens things will start going
pear-shaped quickly.

>I have been working on a General Public License (which I'm happy to
>with this list if anyone is interested) tailored specifically for
schema in
>different namespaces.  The main points follow:

well I'm interested, it might be cool to have it somewhere one can
access. The question is if it could be based on the creative commons
work - http://www.creativecommons.org/ 

>Whether or not extended elements should be published back to the owners
>probalby something to be decided on a case-by-case basis.  Suppose
Company >A
>spends five years and a lot of money to create schema/namespace A and
>software around it.  Company B comes along and in one month, uses and
>extends schema/namespace A with schema/namespace B and builds software
>around it.  Company B now has a product that has more features in it (A
+ >B)
>than Company A's product.  

I am liable to be Socially Darwinian about such a scenario, even though
it might come back to haunt me :)
If Company A took 5 years to build something and Company B builds
something with more capabilities in one month then Company A should
wander off into the nearest tarpit and duck.


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