W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-vocabs@w3.org > September 2014

Re: The Vocabulary, Schema.org governance, etc.

From: Peter Mika <pmika@yahoo-inc.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:15:34 +0000
To: Guha <guha@google.com>, W3C Vocabularies <public-vocabs@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D045B37A.659CC%pmika@yahoo-inc.com>
Hi Renato, All,

Just like Guha, I want to start out by saying how much we appreciate everyone's input and your concern for the growth of the Linked/Data/Semantic Web.

The same passion for the Web drove us to start schema.org, and from the beginning we realized that yes, if we create any original text as part of the schema, even if it's just a couple of words, we would own the copyright to it. Exactly for this reason, we are going to great length trying to 'disown' schema.org<http://schema.org/> so that publishers (and really anyone else) can feel completely safe to use it and build on it. The two ways of disowning that we could come up with and implemented so far:

#1 A Creative Commons copyright license
#2 Our commitment to the W3C Patent Policy

The last schema.org TOS update was in fact adding #2.

We really hope this is sufficient for everyone to freely use and build upon schema.org. However, we welcome your input on what other steps we could take!


From: Guha <guha@google.com<mailto:guha@google.com>>
Date: Friday, September 19, 2014 at 7:25 PM
To: W3C Vocabularies <public-vocabs@w3.org<mailto:public-vocabs@w3.org>>
Subject: The Vocabulary, Schema.org governance, etc.
Resent-From: <public-vocabs@w3.org<mailto:public-vocabs@w3.org>>
Resent-Date: Friday, September 19, 2014 at 7:25 PM

First, a heartfelt thanks for caring and being so passionate about this. I am really happy that we are having an open discussion about these matters. In that spirit, here are a few comments.

Schema.org does not claim or want to be *the* general web vocabulary. It is simply a vocabulary, that a set of groups within four large consumers of structured data on the web agree upon. I helped start schema.org<http://schema.org> because the fragmentation of vocabularies and confusion amongst webmasters was severely holding back adoption inside Google (Bing, Yahoo, Yandex) and consequently amongst webmasters. We figured that agreeing on the small subset of vocabulary that mattered to us would improve things a lot. It does seem to be working, but we constantly have to keep our focus and not stray into areas that are not of short/medium term focus for our companies. Indeed, we constantly find ourselves pulling back from more specialized areas. Having tried to build a "the" vocabulary once in Cyc, I am very wary of schema.org<http://schema.org> going down that road!

Schema.org is evolving not just in its vocabulary, but also in its governance model. We solicit and accept input from the broad community both on vocabulary and on other issues. In fact, the recent change in our TOS was motivated by issues raised by the community. I fully expect that there will be a number of further changes in the years to come.

Given the nature of web search and the effort expended by various 'search engine optimizers' in gaming search algorithms, we are unfortunately unable to discuss the details of our data processing. We welcome other consumers of this data and maybe some of them can be more explicit about how they use the data. I am very hopeful that there will be academic research projects that consume schema.org<http://schema.org> data in new applications. That will pave the path towards a well understood, documented model for consuming this data.

We encourage the creation of many vocabularies. We would love for there to be other vocabularies that get lots of adoption and as these vocabularies get adoption, the search engines will use them.

Thank you for being so understanding of our situation.

Received on Monday, 22 September 2014 09:16:37 UTC

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