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Re: application/rdf+xml Media Type Registration [DRAFT]

From: Jan Grant <Jan.Grant@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2002 11:17:23 +0000 (GMT)
To: Graham Klyne <Graham.Klyne@MIMEsweeper.com>
cc: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>, RDF Core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.44.0203231107390.17565-100000@mail.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>
On Sat, 23 Mar 2002, Graham Klyne wrote:

> At 01:59 PM 3/22/02 -0600, Aaron Swartz wrote:
>
> Looks good... some comments.
> >
> >    It is important to note that RDF language is used to transmit
> >    meaningful information, and thus has the same legal status as
> >    assertions, in say, English would.
>
> I strongly suggest dropping this last paragraph.  If there's anything
> likely to snarl up approval through IETF/IESG/IANA processes, I think this
> is it.  And it's not necessary to make this point for registering the
> content type.

I'd agree with Graham here; actually, I'd go further. RDF does _not_
have the same legal status as written English assertions until test
cases say it does. That's (in my opinion) unlikely to happen for quite
some time:

- RDF/XML is gibberish. It's going to be close to impossible to get a
  court to give it the same status as English.
- a court can decide on the meaning of English because there's a
  "common interpretation" to draw from. In the case of libellous RDF,
  there's a good defence:
  - my intended interpretation for those particular URI-labelled
    properties is completely innocent;
  - any english content in a URI label is inadmissable because RDF
    is built on something which says, "URIs are opaque"*

Unless/until you have a "common interpretation", you're not going to get
very far. I don't think the W3C has sanctioned a schema for name-calling
yet :-)

This is, I think, distinct from the use of RDF to transmit
machiine-generated content for machine consumption.

Otherwise, good stuff.

IANAL, but that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion-
jan

* or words to that effect; DanCon has good arguments for this.

-- 
jan grant, ILRT, University of Bristol. http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/
Tel +44(0)117 9287088 Fax +44 (0)117 9287112 RFC822 jan.grant@bris.ac.uk
and Nostradamus never dreamed of the Church of the Accellerated Worm
Received on Saturday, 23 March 2002 06:17:42 EST

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