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Question about copyright protection in XML source/outputs

From: Eve L. Maler <elm@arbortext.com>
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 1999 12:53:19 -0500
Message-Id: <199904021753.MAA08437@arbortext.com>
To: spec-prod@w3.org
Cc: elm@arbortext.com
Paul Grosso sent me an XMLspec comment in private correspondence this week,
and it started what we thought was an interesting discussion.

The issue was whether a copyright element should be added to the DTD, so
that a copyright statement could be supplied in fairly "cooked" form so
that it would appear in the various outputs.  I suggested that a stylesheet
might be able to output the copyright statement, if it were pretty much
boilerplate.

Paul then asked (I copy with his permission):

>Is a document properly copyrighted if the copyright is only
>in it stylesheet?
>
>I post .xml and .htm files for the XML Fragment spec.  Is
>the .xml file on the public W3C server properly copyrighted 
>if the copyright statement is only in the .fos file on my
>laptop?
>
>I think I better re-instate my request for a copyright block.
>
>Currently, I'm putting the copyright info in the ultimate
>paragraph of the status section, but it would be nice to
>have a real block for it, and I don't think removing the
>copyright from the .xml file entirely is a good idea.

I responded:

>This is an issue that I've dealt with with several customers, and it also
>came up in the old OSF thing.  Sometimes it's not just copyright
>statements, but other legal-related statements too.  Here are the options
>as I see them (and they're not mutually exclusive):
>
>- Put copyright statements in the "source code" a la program code, usually
>in comments.  This protects the source.
>
>- Arrange to output copyright statements in the various outputs, thus
>protecting each output.  This can be done by each stylesheet, or by a
>combination of source markup/content and markup (e.g. DocBook's Copyright
>element, with Year and Holder subelements, with the c symbol being output
>by the stylesheet), or by "pure" source markup/content that gets output
>straightforwardly.
>
>Given that XML can function as both source and output, I could see having a
>fairly transparent copyright block in there.  However, it can never be
>guaranteed that a stylesheet won't suppress, mangle, or reverse the meaning
>of (!) source content...

Does anyone have an opinion about what should happen in XMLspec, or have
comments about this issue in general?

	Eve
Received on Friday, 2 April 1999 12:53:43 GMT

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