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RE: ENQUIRY ABOUT WHO OWNS THE HTML !!

From: Edward Barrow <edward@platopress.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 17:32:34 -0000
Message-ID: <01C0652A.BEC3AAE0.edward@platopress.co.uk>
To: "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>
On Wednesday, December 13, 2000 12:54 PM, Eric van der Vlist 
[SMTP:vdv@dyomedea.com] wrote:
> Jon Haworth wrote:
> >
> > No-one "owns" HTML, like no-one "owns" C++. Companies own HTML editors 
- for
> > example, Microsoft owns FrontPage - but then companies also own C++
> > compilers (Microsoft owns Visual C++).
>
> This is slightly different since a single organization, the W3C, is
> clearly at the origin of HTML and do claim a copyright [1] on it.

> [1] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/ipr-notice-20000612

With respect, this notice does not claim any rights to html the language, 
although it claims either that it has  trade mark rights in the term HTML, 
or that it is a generic term, - the primary purpose being to stop some 
other organisation claiming HTMLas a trade mark.

Clearly the W3C owns the copyright in the latest specification documents, 
but they are in part copied from earlier specs which predate the W3C.

I think the statement that "no one owns HTML" is essentially accurate. As 
for Mr Badani's breakthrough, if he wishes to profit from it he is best 
advised not to disclose it to anyone without first consulting a patent 
attorney; but he should also bear in mind that the success of the Web owes 
a great deal to the open, non-proprietary nature of its underlying 
standards such as HTML.


Edward Barrow
new media copyright consultant
edward@copyweb.co.uk
Received on Wednesday, 13 December 2000 12:33:07 GMT

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