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Re: [dxwg] license and rights apply to Dataset as well as Distribution

From: Simon Cox via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2018 04:50:06 +0000
To: public-dxwg-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-377747092-1522558204-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
My comment about 'reciprocation' was not meant to imply any strict linkage, more that we should respect the fact that there are multiple alternative use-cases here, and a community of interest to play a part in.  But I shouldn't have implied any mutual obligation or reciprocity. Too casual, sorry. 

Looking your proposal:

`dct:license` and `dct:rights` are not bound into DCAT axiomatically. 

They are referred to in the first sentence in the Normative sections of the rec here https://w3c.github.io/dxwg/dcat/#class-catalog and here https://w3c.github.io/dxwg/dcat/#class-distribution - "are recommended for use on this class". According to https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2119 the word 'recommended' means the same as 'SHOULD', which means that it is required unless there is a good reason not to. 

There is no normative statement about the use of `dct:license` and `dct:rights` in the context of `dcat:Dataset`, and there are no `rdfs:domain` or `owl:Restriction` axioms to affect the usage one way or the other. So the RDFS does not disallow licenses and rights statements on `dcat:Dataset`, and the rec document is silent on the issue. 

I see three alternatives:

1. change nothing. Anyone who cares to could put a licenses or rights statements on a dataset, but it is a grey area; 
2. specifically prohibit licenses and rights statements, either in normative text, or axiomatically with an `owl:Restriction` that fixes cardinality=0 for these properties on datasets
3. add some language explaining why it is usual to apply licenses and rights statements to distributions, and pointing out the implications for their use on datasets. 

I generally favour being more- rather than less- explicit. An issue has been spotted, we know that some parts of the community that we do respect and care about have hit it, we have had a discussion, and believe it is best to retain the status quo. But (unless we go with my option 2.) there remains a "grey" option to put a license or a rights statement on a dataset, so I think it behooves us to make it clear that we are aware of this option, and generally don't recommend it, and explain the risks with using it in that way. 



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Received on Sunday, 1 April 2018 04:50:22 UTC

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