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Re: Organization ontology

From: Patrick Durusau <patrick@durusau.net>
Date: Tue, 08 Jun 2010 06:15:07 -0400
Message-ID: <4C0E182B.7030704@durusau.net>
To: Todd Vincent <Todd.Vincent@xmllegal.org>
CC: Patrick Logan <patrickdlogan@gmail.com>, Mike Norton <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>, "public-egov-ig@w3.org" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>, Dave Reynolds <dave.e.reynolds@googlemail.com>, William Waites <william.waites@okfn.org>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, William Waites <ww-keyword-okfn.193365@styx.org>, "Emmanouil Batsis (Manos)" <manos@abiss.gr>

On 6/7/2010 11:27 PM, Todd Vincent wrote:
> In the law, there are two concepts (a) Person and (b) Entity.   In 
> simple terms:
> A person is a human.
> An entity is a non-human.
Well, yes, in simple terms but the law isn't always simple. ;-)

How would you handle municipalities that are considered to be "persons" 
for purposes of Title 42 Section 1983 actions? (civil rights)

It remains a municipality for any number of legal purposes but is also a 
"person" in other contexts.

I am sure a scan of the Federal Code (to say nothing of the case law) 
would turn up any number of nuances to the concept "person." Perhaps not 
as complex as the attribution of ownership rules in the IRC but enough 
to be interesting.

The law in logic folks did a lot of work on legal concepts. One of the 
journals was Modern Uses of Logic in Law, later became Jurimetrics.

Hope you are having a great day!


> Generally, these terms are used to distinguish who has the capacity to 
> sue, be sued, or who lacks the capacity to sue or be sued.
> A *person* (human) can sue or be sued in an individual capacity, with 
> certain exceptions for juveniles, those who are legally insane, or who 
> otherwise are deemed or adjudicated under the law to lack legal capacity.
> An *entity* must exist as a "legal person" under the laws of a state.  
> An entity's existence under the laws of a state occurs either through 
> registration (usually with the secretary of state) or by operation of 
> law (can happen with a partnership). Generally, anything else is not a 
> "entity".  For example, you cannot sue a group of people on a beach as 
> a "entity" -- you would have to name each person individually. This is 
> true, because the group of people on a beach typically have done 
> nothing to form a legally recognized entity.
> From a legal perspective, calling something a "Legal Entity" is 
> redundant; although from a non-legal perspective, it may provide 
> clarity.  In contrast a "legal person" is not redundant because most 
> legal minds would understand this to mean an "entity" (i.e., a person 
> with the capacity to sue and be sued that is not a "human" person).
> From a data modeling perspective, I find it straightforward to use the 
> terms "Person" and "Organization" because (a) typically only lawyers 
> understand "Entity" and (b) the data model for an organization tends 
> to work for both (legal) "entities" and for "organizations" that might 
> not fully meet the legal requirements for an entity.   Taking the 
> example below, a large corporation or government agency (both of which 
> are [legal] entities) might be organized into non-legal divisions, 
> subdivisions, departments, groups, etc, that are not (legal) entities 
> but still might operate like, and need to be named as, an 
> "organization."  Some companies have subsidiaries that are legal 
> (entities).
> By adding "OrganizationType" to the Organization data model, you 
> provide the ability to modify the type of organization and can then 
> represent both (legal) entities and (legally unrecognized) organizations.
> Taxing authorities (e.g., the IRS) have different classifications for 
> entities.  An S Corporation, C Corporation, and a Non-Profit 
> Corporation are all (legal) entities, even though their tax status 
> differs.
> Hope this is helpful for what it is worth.
> Todd
> See also U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 17.
> *From:* public-egov-ig-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org] *On Behalf Of *Patrick Logan
> *Sent:* Monday, June 07, 2010 7:50 PM
> *To:* Mike Norton
> *Cc:* public-egov-ig@w3.org; Dave Reynolds; William Waites; Linked 
> Data community; William Waites; Emmanouil Batsis (Manos)
> *Subject:* Re: Organization ontology
> Large corporations often have multiple legal entities and many 
> informal, somewhat overlapping business organizations. Just saying. I 
> wrangled with that. There're several different use cases for these for 
> internal vs external, customer/vendor, financial vs operations, etc.
>     On Jun 7, 2010 3:19 PM, "Mike Norton" <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com
>     <mailto:xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>> wrote:
>     I can see Manos' point.   It seems that LegalEntity rather the
>     Organization would work well under a sub-domain such as .LAW or
>     .DOJ or .SEC, but under other sub-domains such as .NASA, the
>     Organization element might be better served as ProjectName.   All
>     instances would help specify the Organization type, while keeping
>     Organization as the general unstylized element is probably ideal,
>     as inferred by William Waites.
>     Michael A. Norton
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *>>From:* Emmanouil Batsis (Manos) manos@abiss.gr
>     <mailto:manos@abiss.gr>
>     >>
>     >>a) the way i get FormalOrganization, it could as well be called
>     LegalEntity to be more precise....

Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

Another Word For It (blog): http://tm.durusau.net
Homepage: http://www.durusau.net
Twitter: patrickDurusau
Received on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 10:15:53 UTC

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