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Re: Comment on XHTML2 WD: adding a "license" REL

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 09:26:27 +0100
Message-ID: <42B920B3.3010306@w3.org>
To: Ben Adida <ben@mit.edu>
Cc: www-html-editor@w3.org, "Ralph R.Swick" <swick@w3.org>, Hal Abelson <hal@mit.edu>, Mike Linksvayer <ml@creativecommons.org>, tbaker@tbaker.de

+cc: Tom Baker (for Dublin Core)

Ben Adida wrote:

> Dear HTML Editors,
> I'm writing to you as Creative Commons's AC rep with a proposal to 
> add  "license" within the XHTML2 namespace of allowable REL attribute  
> values. [...]

I'm sympathetic, at least to having a clear and complete CC example in 
the spec.
However I wonder whether the dc:rights relationship would be adequate here.

See http://www.dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/

 Label: Rights Management
 Definition: Information about rights held in and over the resource.
 Comment: Typically, a Rights element will contain a rights management 
statement for
the resource, or reference a service providing such information. Rights 
often encompasses Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Copyright, and 
Property Rights. If the Rights element is absent, no assumptions can be 
made about
the status of these and other rights with respect to the resource.

You note that "the xhtml2:license property should not define the owner
of the copyright: we leave that to existing properties like dc:rights." and
"there is no current XHTML2 or Dublin Core property that properly
expresses this pure licensing relationship[1]".

A natural question here then, is whether the proposed
xhtml2:license relationship has dc:rights as a super-property. Do 
you expect the dc:rights relationship to be true of any pair of 
documents R and L that stand in an xhtml2:license relationship?

(I ask this as I worked on the RDFS at 
that tries to capture the semantics of the current set of XHTML2 
relationship types).

Could you say a little more about why DC doesn't work for CC use cases?
(In [1] I see a CC-based attempt to have the dc:rights property relate 
a document to an Agent that is a rights-holder. I remember seeing this 
a couple of years ago (DC 2003 meeting?) and thinking it over-stretched 
the meaning of dc:rights. By contrast, your current proposal seems to fall
well within the meaning of dc:rights. If that point is generally agreed,
then I suggest (a) the proposal should include a request for the XHTML2
RDFS to assert that xhtml2:license rdfs:subPropertyOf dc:rights, and (b)
further discussion is needed on whether an additional property is 
sufficiently motivated. For example, do you believe there are legal 
scenarios in which some party could try to wriggle out of some liability
by saying "Oh, I knew X was a dc:rights of Y, but that doesn't imply that 
Y is a copyright license that I need to take any notice of" 
(or lawyer-refined refined words to similar affect). Would having a more 
specific relationship type improve such situations, leaving less 

Details aside, I do support the specification of some mechanism 
for citing CC and other licenses using the rel= RDF metadata 
mechanisms in XHTML2. 



ps. a final concern re spelling. The addition of new words into the XHTML2
namespace that are commonly spelled differently in US vs UK English is a 
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=licence  ...please try 
to think of another word whose exact spelling can more easily be 
memorised by HTML authors worldwide.

> [1] http://creativecommons.org/technology/metadata/extend
Received on Wednesday, 22 June 2005 08:26:40 UTC

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