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Re: Organization ontology

From: Mike Norton <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2010 21:14:27 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <165314.25061.qm@web82401.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
To: Todd Vincent <Todd.Vincent@xmllegal.org>
Cc: Patrick Logan <patrickdlogan@gmail.com>, "public-egov-ig@w3.org" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>, Dave Reynolds <dave.e.reynolds@googlemail.com>, William Waites <william.waites@okfn.org>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, William Waites <ww-keyword-okfn.193365@styx.org>, "Emmanouil Batsis \(Manos\)" <manos@abiss.gr>
Thanks for this, Todd.  Personally, I love the persons on a beach scenario, because it is provocative and, quite simply, persons on a beach!

I was looking at "Organization" as an outsider of the legal profession , referring to "LegalEntity" with C-Corps, S-Corps, and such in mind.  "OrganizationType" would be a great attribute to help further delineate the complex web of organizations that do comprise the space, and perhaps further describe the Organization's Merger status, Acquisition status, or other Exchange-relative markup.
Michael A. Norton

From: Todd Vincent <Todd.Vincent@xmllegal.org>
To: Patrick Logan <patrickdlogan@gmail.com>; Mike Norton <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>
Cc: "public-egov-ig@w3.org" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>; Dave Reynolds <dave.e.reynolds@googlemail.com>; William Waites <william.waites@okfn.org>; Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>; William Waites <ww-keyword-okfn.193365@styx.org>; Emmanouil Batsis (Manos) <manos@abiss.gr>
Sent: Mon, June 7, 2010 8:27:11 PM
Subject: RE: Organization ontology

In the law, there are two concepts (a) Person and (b)
Entity.   In simple terms:
A person is a human.
An entity is a non-human.
Generally, these terms are used to distinguish who has the
capacity to sue, be sued, or who lacks the capacity to sue or be sued.  
A person (human) can sue or be sued in an individual capacity,
with certain exceptions for juveniles, those who are legally insane, or who
otherwise are deemed or adjudicated under the law to lack legal capacity.
An entity must exist as a "legal person" under
the laws of a state.  An entity's existence under the laws of a state
occurs either through registration (usually with the secretary of state) or by
operation of law (can happen with a partnership). Generally, anything else is
not a "entity".  For example, you cannot sue a group of people
on a beach as a "entity" – you would have to name each person
individually. This is true, because the group of people on a beach typically have
done nothing to form a legally recognized entity.
From a legal perspective, calling something a "Legal
Entity" is redundant; although from a non-legal perspective, it may
provide clarity.  In contrast a "legal person" is not redundant because
most legal minds would understand this to mean an "entity" (i.e., a
person with the capacity to sue and be sued that is not a "human"
From a data modeling perspective, I find it straightforward to use
the terms "Person" and "Organization" because (a) typically
only lawyers understand "Entity" and (b) the data model for an
organization tends to work for both (legal) "entities" and for
"organizations" that might not fully meet the legal requirements for
an entity.   Taking the example below, a large corporation or
government agency (both of which are [legal] entities) might be organized into non-legal
divisions, subdivisions, departments, groups, etc, that are not (legal)
entities but still might operate like, and need to be named as, an
"organization."  Some companies have subsidiaries that are legal
By adding "OrganizationType" to the Organization data
model, you provide the ability to modify the type of organization and can then
represent both (legal) entities and (legally unrecognized) organizations.
Taxing authorities (e.g., the IRS) have different
classifications for entities.  An S Corporation, C Corporation, and a Non-Profit
Corporation are all (legal) entities, even though their tax status differs.
Hope this is helpful for what it is worth.
See also U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 17.
From:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Patrick Logan
Sent: Monday, June 07, 2010 7:50 PM
To: Mike Norton
Cc: public-egov-ig@w3.org; Dave Reynolds; William Waites; Linked Data
community; William Waites; Emmanouil Batsis (Manos)
Subject: Re: Organization ontology
Large corporations often have multiple legal entities and many informal,
somewhat overlapping business organizations. Just saying. I wrangled with that.
There're several different use cases for these for internal vs external,
customer/vendor, financial vs operations, etc.
>On Jun 7, 2010 3:19 PM,
>"Mike Norton" <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>
>I can see Manos' point.   It seems that
>LegalEntity rather the Organization would work well under a sub-domain such
>as .LAW or .DOJ or .SEC, but under other sub-domains such as .NASA, the
>Organization element might be better served as ProjectName.  
>All instances would help specify the Organization type, while keeping
>Organization as the general unstylized element is probably ideal, as inferred
>by William Waites.
>Michael A. Norton
>>>From:Emmanouil Batsis
>(Manos) manos@abiss.gr
>>>>a) the way i get FormalOrganization, it could as well be called
>LegalEntity to be more precise....

Received on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 04:15:01 UTC

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