W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > June 2011

Re: Schema.org considered helpful

From: Paola Di Maio <paola.dimaio@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 22:49:36 +0100
Message-ID: <BANLkTikiiJBiPAN4CiG9t48YFkxJnogTbQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Patrick Logan <patrickdlogan@gmail.com>, SW-forum <semantic-web@w3.org>

I have not looked into it, and I have limited expertise, however from your
obvservations  I would be inclined to say:

sounds like a 'blanket' license
this is a pure 'catchall', and  as such has limited legal validity

it can be challenged on various grounds, for example:
a) do they own what they are supposedly licensing?
b) is it realistic to expect such a license is enforced?
c) etc

It is wise of you to look into such details,to make sure schema.org does not
have a hidden agenda (ie to rob everyone off, entirely possible its just
another conspiracy...)

If at least one case can be passed in a court that agrees  the limit of
 enforceability of such the license, then a precedent is set and likely to
be upheld. There may be analogue cases already passed.

A good lawyer can probably find lot more ways to make such  silly copyright
statement null and void


On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 10:27 PM, Patrick Logan <patrickdlogan@gmail.com>wrote:

> I believe as of SemTech that Google has retracted its position of not
> mixing MD and RDFa.
> That was my primary technical concern.
> My primary other concerns have to do with (1) patent encumbrance and
> (2) the schema.org "use-wrap" license (i.e. if you "use" the site
> (whatever that means) the license implies you automatically agree with
> the current and all future terms and conditions.)
> (1) is a concern that to best take advantage of the big three search
> engines they claim you also have to encumber your data (and your means
> of producing or consuming it?) with their patents
> (2) is just silly, much sillier than the old "shrink-wrap" licenses,
> which as I understand them have not been given (much?) standing in
> (most?) courts of law.
> If I am offtrack on these concerns, please clarify.
> -Patrick
> On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 2:09 PM, Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org> wrote:
> > I've been watching the community response to schema.org for the last
> > bit of time. Overall, I think we should clarify why people are upset.
> > First, there should be no reason to be upset that the major search
> > engines went off and created their own vocabularies. According to the
> > argument of decentralized extensibility, schema.org *exactly* what
> > Google/Yahoo!/Microsoft are supposed to be doing. It's a
> > straightfoward site that clearly for how the average Web developer can
> > use structured data in markup to solve real-world use-cases and
> > provides examples.  That's the entire vision of the Semantic Web, let
> > a thousand ontologies bloom with no central control.
> >
> > The reason people are upset are that they didn't use RDFa, but instead
> > used microdata. One *cannot* argue that Google is ignoring open
> > standards. RDFa and microdata are *both* Last Call W3C Working Drafts
> > now. RDFa 1.0 is a spec but only for XHTML 1.0, which is not what most
> > of the Web uses. Microdata does have RDF parsing bugs, but again, most
> > developers outside the Semantic Web probably don't care - they want
> > JSON anyways.
> >
> > Form what I understand from tevents  where Rich Snippets team has
> > presented is that RDFa is simply too complicated for ordinary web
> > developers to use. Google has been deploying Rich Snippets for two
> > years, claim to have user-studies  and have experience with a large
> > user-base. This user-driven feedback should be taken on board by both
> > relevant WGs obviously, HTML and RDFa. Designing technology without
> > user-feedback leads to odd results (for proof, see many of the fun and
> > exiciting "httpRange-14" discussions). Which is also why many
> > practical developers do not use the technology.
> >
> > But realistically, it's not the RDFa WG's job to do user-studies and
> > build compelling user-experiences in products. They are only a few
> > people. Why has the *hundreds* of people in the Semantic Web community
> > not done such work?
> >
> > The fact of the matter is that the Semantic Web academic community has
> > had their priorities skewed to the wrong direction. Had folks been
> > spending time doing usability testing and focussing on user-feedback
> > on common problems (such as the rather obvious "vocabulary hosting"
> > problem) rather than focussing on things with little to no support
> > with the world outside academia, then we probably would not be in the
> > situation we are in today. Today, major companies such as Microsoft
> > (oData) and Google (microdata) are jumping on the "open data"
> > bandwagon but finding the RDF stack unacceptable. Some of it may be a
> > "not invented here" syndrome, but as anyone who has actually looked at
> > RDF/XML can tell you, some of it is hard-to-deny technical reasoning
> > by companies that have decided that "open data" is a great market but
> > do not agree with the technical choices made by the  Semantic Web
> > stack.
> >
> > This is not to say good things can't come out of the academic
> > community - the *internet* came out of the academic community. But
> > seriously, at some point (think of the role of Netscape in getting the
> > Web going with the magic of images) commercial companies enter the
> > game. We should be happy now search engines are seeing value in
> > structured data on the Web.
> >
> > I would suggest the Semantic Web community take on-board the
> > "microdata" challenge in two different ways. First of all, start
> > focussing on user-studies and user experience (not just visual
> > interfaces, the Semantic Web has more than its share of user-hostile
> > visual interfaces). It's harder to publish academic papers on these
> > topics but possible (see SIGCHI), and would help a lot with actual
> > deployment. Second, we should start focussing more on actual empirical
> > data-driven feedback, both on what parts of RDF are being used and
> > common mistakes. With indexes such as the Billion Triple Challenge and
> > Sindice's index, we can actually do that with the Semantic Web. Third,
> > why not actually try to get RDF - or "open data more broadly" into the
> > browser in usable manner? Tabulator may be a step in the right
> > direction, but the user experience needs work. Fourth, why not start a
> > company and try to deliver products to actual end-users and give that
> > feedback to the wider community and W3C WGs (and if you already work
> > for an actual SemWeb company, please send your feedback from user
> > studies to the WG before Last Call)? I believe the Semantic Web
> > research community - which still has tons of funding and lots of
> > passion - can make the Web better.
> >
> > Schema.org is not a threat. It's an opportunity to step up. Good luck
> everyone!
> >
> >           cheers,
> >              harry
> >
> > P.S.: Note this opinions are purely personal and held as an individual.
> >
> >
Received on Thursday, 16 June 2011 21:50:05 UTC

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