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Re: Denotation of URIs

From: Godfrey Rust <godfreyrust@dds.netkonect.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2003 14:00:00 +0100
Message-ID: <002501c2faaa$1a7429c0$0a14a8c0@godfrey>
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Jon Hanna wrote:

>There is a difference between the concept "43rd President of the U.S." and
>the concept (oh if he were only a concept...) of "George W. Bush", and that
>those two things are the same

There is also almost certainly a difference between Jon's concept of George W, my concept of George W, his wife's concept of him, his barber's concept of him and Saddam Hussein's concept of him. Whether or not the properties of these concepts are expressed in consistent metadata is a secondary (though somewhat non-trivial) issue. The important question for me (because it is of very practical concern in the rights management of abstract intellectual property)  is "whose concept" is being denoted. I can then discover if there is an expression of that concept available to me, and choose what authority to ascribe to that view, according to its asserter and my application or domain. It is at root a trust issue. There will on occasion be legal battles over instances, but that happens over denotations of abstractions in the non-digital domain in any case, so its a problem of scale, not type.

Likewise, if Jon wishes to say that http://www.apple.com denotes Microsoft (whatever he means by "Microsoft"), I don't mind, so long as I know. If Microsoft or Apple want to sue him, that's their business.

Godfrey Rust
Data Definitions
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Received on Friday, 4 April 2003 08:00:24 UTC

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