Re: ISSUE-27: rel-ownership - Chairs Solicit Proposals

On Jan 22, 2010, at 04:20, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

> On Jan 20, 2010, at 11:56 PM, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> On Jan 21, 2010, at 01:03, Mark Nottingham wrote:
>>> - The registry will be available in a machine-readable form, so that people can incorporate it in validators, etc. The machine-readable form is NOT available on the Web (to avoid load issues, such as those seen with W3C's DTD hosting); rather, they're available on a mailing list, so that vendors can redistribute it as they see fit.
>> When you say redistribute as they see fit, do you mean only verbatim redistribution or also distribution under a Free Software license if a vendor so sees fit?
> This is not a relevant concern.  Registries are not copyrightable
> for the same reason that phone listings are not copyrightable
> (without the addition of significant new work that would justify
> an exclusive creative right).

I'm not a lawyer. As I lay person, I find your point persuasive as far as U.S law goes. Unfortunately, the situation is not the same for the EU countries, where there are rights to databases and listings. I'm located in an EU country and the EU is a significant software market, so I find this relevant.

If the IANA believed their registries aren't copyrightable, surely the IANA could explicitly say that they reserve no rights without losing anything. Instead they stipulate non-Free conditions for distribution.

This reminds me of W3C staff arguing that the W3C Document License doesn't need to permit certain things explicitly because they are Fair Use. (Fair Use being a U.S.-specific legal defense in a copyright infringement suit.) If you want to allow something, you should just allow it instead of officially prohibiting it and informally suggesting a way to defend violations of the prohibition in a U.S. court.

Henri Sivonen

Received on Friday, 22 January 2010 10:11:01 UTC