Re: FPIs

[Charles Goldfarb:]

| >> My point was that you can make your own publisher prefix without
| >> getting permission from, or paying an annual fee to, a naming
| >> authority.
| At the time 9070 was published, I checked with the U.S. ISBN agency
| and was told (in writing) that they would support our use of publisher
| prefixes for registered owner identifiers, and that there was no fee
| for the assignment of a prefix. You do not have to be a publisher to
| obtain one.

That is interesting information.  Is this a matter of public record,
or do we just refer all complaints to you?

| [Lee Quin:]
| >Of course, when you discover that the European division of
| >Sun Life's software division has been using SUN:SUNSOFT as an owner
| >identifier for several years, you'll wish there had been a registry, and
| >all the trademark lawyers in Washington couldn't win you that battle :-)
| Exactly! Using "-//SUN::SUNSOFT" as an unregistered, not guaranteed
| unique prefix is perfectly o.k. Where Sun departs from the standard is
| in trying to claim that it owns the prefix. Only registered owner
| prefixes can be owned.

Are you saying that we can't claim ownership of the string
"SUN::SUNSOFT" in a context where someone other than Sun was using it
in a way that is specifically designed to convey the authorship of
documents?  Excuse me, but I think that our legal department would
disagree with you.

| >At any rate I agree with Charles here that you should not try and invent
| >your own standard.
| And there is no need to. Even if GCA-assigned ISO 9070 prefixes are
| not yet available, ISBN prefixes are.

I do not accept that I or anyone else needs to go to a naming
authority for the right to name a document or to state my authorship
of it.  There is nothing new about this.

I am suggesting that unregistered formal public identifiers provide a
method by which publishers can (in practice) unambiguously identify
texts in a way that allows widespread electronic distribution without
typically resorting to a naming authority.

Everyone agrees that in theory you have to be able to fall back to
something like NAPTR if you want to guarantee resolution (though even
NAPTR does not guarantee resolution in every case; I don't see how any
system could do that).  But there is a big difference between a
scenario in which *all* location-independent resolution happens
through a naming authority and one in which 99.99% of the resolutions
can occur without reference to a naming authority and only a small
residue need to fall back to NAPTR -- so small, in fact, that a
publisher might choose to allow those references simply to fail.

It is my claim that unregistered FPIs can enable the second scenario
and thus allow publishing from the ground up rather than making all
references go through a central registry to resolve every
location-independent identifier.