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> From: AndrewWatt2000@aol.com [mailto:AndrewWatt2000@aol.com]
> Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2003 4:00 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: [xml-dev] What is the data here?
> There seems to be more than a little resistance on list to my
> suggestion that "data" is de facto jointly owned. Let me try
> another way to explain an aspect of what I am suggesting.
> Suppose you enter your data into MS Word or Excel. You hit the
> print button and all your "data" is there on paper. You can do with
> it what you want (within the limitations of it being on paper). No
> proprietary vendor has any hold/claim/whatever on it. Your data is
> there. It's yours. You can do with it what you want.
> The data in its data container whether that is a .doc or .xls or
> other file format is something signficantly, but perhaps subtly,
> different from the plain data on paper which latter is indisputably
> yours and only yours (assuming you didn't steal the data or
> It is that combination of data and its proprietary data container
> that I am suggesting is de facto "jointly owned".
If it is jointly owned, then the company that wrote the proprietary data
container has the perfect right to say, "You may not email the file to
anyone else, nor make it available on the Internet without charging a fee,
because we don't want OUR data to be freely distributed. And, of course,
since this company jointly owns the data, the company will take a portion
of the fee charged for distributing OUR data."
Sorry, I'm not convinced that this is a Good Thing.
> The concept of de facto joint ownership applies not to the "users's
> data" but to the combination of user data and data container.
J. David Eisenberg http://catcode.com/