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XPointer WD 20000108 - Suggested redrafting

From: <AndrewWatt2001@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 13:30:47 EST
Message-ID: <18.79c34b9.27989057@aol.com>
To: www-xml-linking-comments@w3.org
The manner in which the 8th January 2001 XPointer WD is currently drafted 
causes me concern.

I wish to suggest a number of drafting changes.

The suggested changes apply to the "Status of the Document" section which 
currently reads, "XPointer is affected by a technology patent held by Sun 
Microsystems. The legal terms and conditions offered by Sun to XPointer 
implementors can be found in the archives of the public comments list.".

To the best of my knowledge there is no reason whatsover to believe that ALL 
of XPointer is affected by Sun's claimed patent. I suggest that there be 
redrafting to indicate those aspects of the XPointer specification to which 
the Sun patent **may** apply.

Thus the paragraph would more appropriately start, "Certain parts of XPointer 
may be affected by a technology patent held by Sun Microsystems. [specify 
here if you wish]."

If, as I guess is the case, the linked "Terms and Conditions" document is not 
"normative" in the W3C sense then that should be stated clearly. If it is 
"normative", then that should be stated explicitly.

This redrafting would provide reassurance that no patent concerns are known 
for most/much of XPointer. For those specific aspects to which a Sun patent 
may apply then I would suggest that the WG liaise with Sun to get a clearer 
form of words in the "Terms & Conditions" document.

The document states "We have developed ...". Who is "we"? Is this document an 
informal document? Or a legally binding commitment on behalf of Sun?

Also, it should be made clear that the person signing on behalf of Sun has 
the legal authority to do so. I suspect, but cannot be sure, that the 
(implicit) signatory of the version of "Terms & Conditions" linked to from 
the XPointer WD may not be "signed" at all.

Does displaying an unsigned attachment to an implicitly signed email carry 
any weight at all, legally?

Does an apparently unsigned document carry any significance at all? Is it, in 
terms of legally binding Sun in this matter, worth the paper it isn't printed 

If there is some more formal document signed by an authorised signatory of 
Sun then I suggest that the XPointer WD link to it.

These suggested drafting changes are made with the intent of relieving 
current anxieties on this matter.


Andrew Watt
Received on Thursday, 18 January 2001 13:31:24 UTC

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