W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > November 2002

RE: freenet URIs and URI ownership

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 19:55:08 +0100
To: "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "Frank Manola" <fmanola@mitre.org>
Cc: <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>

> > > As far as I understand freenet URIs have an owner, who often wishes to
> > > remain anonymous. (Hence the use of freenet).
> > >
> > > Thus, putting too much weight on URIs having an authoritative owner
> Where do we put any weight on that?

(that's a funny fragID)

also third para of


Here is the current text:

The social conventions surrounding use of RDF include the idea that each URI
'belongs to' somebody who has authority and responsibility for defining its
meaning. The social conventions are rooted in the URI specification
[RFC2396] and registration procedures [RFC2717]. A URI scheme registration
refers to a specification of the detailed syntax and interpretation for that
scheme, from which the defining authority for a given URI may be deduced. In
the case of http: URIs, the defining specification is the HTTP protocol
specification [RFC2616], which obtains a resource representation from the
host named in the URI; thus, the owner of the host's DNS domain controls
(observable aspects of) the URI's meaning.


RDF assumes that for any URI some individual or organization has the
authority to define the meaning of that URI. An RDF predicate is defined by
the individual or organization with such the authority with respect to the
its URI, and misuse by others should not be permitted to undermine that

while the text could do with polishing, I think the idea is, at least in
part, needed, for our resolution of the rdfms-assertion issue.

Resolution: On 23rd August 2002, the RDFCore WG resolved:

that the text in section 2.3.2 of the Concepts and Abstract Data Model
document resolves this issue and it be closed.

The text referred to in that resolution is found in:

which reads

RDF/XML documents, i.e. encodings of RDF graphs, can be used to make
representations of claims or assertions about the 'real' world. RDF graphs
may be asserted to be true, and such an assertion should be understood to
carry the same social import and responsibilities as an assertion in any
other format. A combination of social (e.g. legal) and technical machinery
(protocols, file formats, publication frameworks) provide the contexts that
fix the intended meanings of the vocabulary of some piece of RDF, and which
distinguish assertions from other uses (e.g. citations, denals or

[[[This needs reviewing...]]]

For example, a media type, application/rdf+xml [RDF-MIME-TYPE] is being
registered for indicating the use of RDF/XML that might be published with
the intent of being such an assertional representation (as distinguished
from other XML or text that may just happen to look like RDF assertions).


The key problem here is that the issue resolution really only talks about a
single RDF document making an assertion.
The editors have bravely tried to extend this issue resolution to multiple
related independently authored RDF documents which when combined have
slanderous entailment.
(See particularly:

To make that work then the idea of a URI owner is needed, and this idea
seems, somewhat problematic.

However, a single document is hardly a semantic web!
And without text such as that I am questioning, we could end up with the
situation where in the clown example none of the original authors are liable
but someone who sucks up that part of the semantic web and spits it out as a
single document then has a legal liability!

Received on Thursday, 21 November 2002 13:55:31 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:24:18 UTC