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VL funding



Tim et al.,

1.  I think we have consensus on how to solve one part of the problem of
sponsorship--individual maintainers are free to have individual sponsors for the
bottom of their particular VL pages.  However, I think it would be a lot easier
for some of us to find sponsors if we could put the logo at the top a la GNN,
perhaps not quite as obtrusive but at least a postage stamp logo sitting to the
right of the VL icons.

2.  I must say that I'd be reluctant to turn over copyright for the entire WWW
VL Literature to W3C unless it was clear that I was receiving some substantial
value in return, or unless I could make some important reservations.  The WWW VL
Lit is not just a laundry list but a whole system of lists and resources,
including probably at least 100 pp. of text, reviews, etc. that I have composed.
There's a lot of editorial value added.

3.  I agree with the goals of keeping it free to users, keeping it neutral, and
always aiming for higher and higher quality and consistency.  I worry a bit
about having too much look and feel consistency imposed; my Lit page has its own
unique style, but people seem to like it, and most importantly, I do!  I think
one of the major advantages the WWW VL has over other subject indexes such as
Yahoo and GNN's WIC is the cumulative high expertise of the individual subject
maintainers; I'd like to see us continue to have a lot of editorial freedom.

4.  We need a more systematic approach to the larger issue of how to get
sponsorship for the VL as a whole. I concur that effective control of
distribution rights and development of sponsorship is best accomplished if there
is a central organizer, and I think the current discussion illustrates that
there is a strong need for active leadership from W3C in that role. Maybe we
should organize some sort of Working Group on the theme of VL Sustainability.

Regards,

Fred Z

>   In response for the need for a clear copyright status on
>   the virtual library, a possibility would be to make it a
>   condition of participation that copyright be transferred
>   to the W3 Consortium
>   (ie MIT) to be made available to the general public,
>   with the 
>   
>   understanding that MIT would keep it available to the
>   public on the web for free, with a constraint that
>   sponsorship and authorship notices be retained in all
>   copies made. This is basically how it works with
>   contributed W3C code. This could allow MIT to act on
>   behalf of all authors in 
>   
>   allowing for example publication of paper snapshots,
>   with any income fed back into the VLib.  Without a
>   transfer to a single copyright it is very difficult to
>   control distribution or negotiate sponsorship or paper
>   publication fees.  Afterward, it is possible to work
>   with an advertizing agency or funding body. There is an
>   option. Another possibility to perform the role of
>   MIT/W3C would be ISoc.
>   
>   It seems to me that it is reasonable to allow
>   sponsorship and a sponsor space on the bottom of pages
>   (and reasonable of those of you who are doing it on
>   employer time to acknowledge your employer as a sponsor
>   in effect!)
>   
>   I have heard of complaints that some really good bits of
>   the library are on the end of slow links.  We could
>   certainly solve this by setting up a mirror on the W3C
>   site of the whole VLIB.  The W3C site is already
>   mirrored in Switzerland and Massachusetts and we plan to
>   increase that.  The availability of the library is a
>   quality factor which doesn't cost as much as your
>   valuable time authoring it.
>   
>   I feel that the library as an unbiased and free
>   framework for anyone to find things on the web by
>   subject is incredibly valuable, and one of the best
>   answers to the complaint that the web is a mess. So
>   keeping it free, keeping it available, and keeping it
>   neutral and always aiming for higher and higher quality
>   and consistency are very important.  I think you are all
>   doing a really great job, and really helping the web in
>   general by it. Keep it up!
>   
>   Tim BL


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