W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > November 1999

RE: Legal citations for, e.g., usvms

From: Greg FitzPatrick <gf@medianet.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 12:16:06 +0100
To: "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "Eric Hellman" <eric@openly.com>, "Lindh Sören" <Soren.Lindh@statskontoret.se>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, <liberte@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000501bf2b6c$fb8198a0$d8770ec1@joyce.musiknet>
I relate this discussion to our efforts in Sweden


As part of our endeavors we are involved in trying to get the Government to
publish "authoritative lists"  which can be used as trusted sources.

Our approach is to begin as minimalisticly as possible, with tiny, tiny
little efforts, as we put it, when pitching this to the bureaucracy.

One tiny, tiny little effort we have proposed, is the posting of, what is
called in Swedish, the "basbelopp" a variable value expressed in crowns
which is used as a key to innumerable transactions, legal decisions,
insurance pollicies, unemployment benefits and so on.

The schema would be pretty simple

the label = "basbelopp"
the value
date of change
date of validity
the authoritative signatures

And this is where the Queenbee problem comes in.  The Queenbee, being one
and only one document with official status.

Already the basbelopp is  published on the Internet in a text format by the
government,  but that does not make it the "Queenbee".  The true Queenbee is
a protocol from the actual vote on the new "basbelopp"  and it only becomes
the Queenbee for real when the appropriate people sign it.

To make this protocol and the signing of it into a machine understandable
document on the Internet, would save uncountable millions, but only if it
was the Queenbee.  Otherwise it can not be "trusted", even when published on
the governments own homepage.

Only by its being an incorruptible digitally signed Queenbee, can the
multitude of applications, which might want to link to this single value,
safely and legally do so.

Now of course the basbelopp is not changed the instant the chairperson puts
his/her gavel to the desktop.  It has a date when it is to go into force.
There should be plenty of time to get the value over from the paperbased
Queenbee to an internetbased Queenbee, prior to the validity date.

But legally there can only be one Queenbee.  Sort of like that famous
kilogram of some strange material lying in a vault in Paris.  There is only
one Queenbee kilogram.  Two Queenbees are unthinkable.

So for the Internet version of the basbelopp to become the Queenbee it would
mean that the paper version would have to loose its Queenbee status.

In order for this to happen,  major laws would have to be changed.  And our
tiny, tiny little innovation becomes a huge politically complicated

Of course this puts seemingly unfair demands on Internet publishing, when
you stop to think that most of the organizations and applications using the
basbelopp get their information about its value from paper copies which are
copies, of copies, of .....

Of course we are not giving up.

As to the first scholarly publication about the web, I have no input, but
the two Belgium gentleman I eulogize in the paper linked above are
candidates for the first (un)realistic attempt to create a worldwide
knowledge base in modern times.

Greg FitzPatrick
ISOC-SE Chair MetaDataGruppen

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org
> [mailto:www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Dan Connolly
> Sent: den 9 november 1999 22:43
> To: Eric Hellman
> Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org; liberte@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Legal citations for, e.g., usvms
> Eric Hellman wrote:
> >
> > (see
> > http://www.openly.com/SLinkS/ and http://www.openly.com/link.openly/ )
> Interesting... "Linkability is rapidly becoming an essential feature of
> the
> 21st Century Scholarly Journal."
> Have you ever seen this quote?
>     Pick up your pen, mouse or favorite pointing device and press it on
>     a reference in this document - perhaps to the author's name, or
>     organization, or some related work. Suppose you are directly
>     presented with the background material - other papers, the
>     author's coordinates, the organization's address and its entire
>     telephone directory. Suppose each of these documents has the
>     same property of being linked to other original documents all over
>     the world. You would have at your fingertips all you need to know
>     about electronic publishing, high-energy physics or for that matter
>     Asian culture. If you are reading this article on paper, you can
> only
>     dream, but read on.
> It's from the first (as far as I know) scholarly publication about the
> Web:
> World-Wide Web: The Information Universe
>     Berners-Lee, T., et al., (1992), Electronic Networking: Research,
>     Applications and Policy, Vol 1 No 2, Meckler, Westport CT, Spring
>     1992
> (postscript copy at
> http://www.w3.org/History/1992/ENRAP/Article_9202.ps )
> --
> Dan Connolly, W3C
> http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Wednesday, 10 November 1999 06:11:31 UTC

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