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RE: URI for language identifiers

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 10:25:49 +0300
Message-ID: <A03E60B17132A84F9B4BB5EEDE57957B5FBB61@trebe006.europe.nokia.com>
To: <dehora@eircom.net>
Cc: <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>, <miles@milessabin.com>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ext Bill de hÓra [mailto:dehora@eircom.net]
> Sent: 03 April, 2003 01:56
> To: Stickler Patrick (NMP/Tampere)
> Cc: pfps@research.bell-labs.com; miles@milessabin.com;
> www-rdf-interest@w3.org
> Subject: Re: URI for language identifiers
> Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com wrote:
> > 
> > 
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: ext Peter F. Patel-Schneider 
> > Can you provide anything to refute it other than your own gut
> > feeling for this?
> > 
> > However:
> > 
> >>From http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt
> > [
> >    3.2. Authority Component
> > 
> >    Many URI schemes include a top hierarchical element for a naming
> >    authority, such that the namespace defined by the 
> remainder of the
> >    URI is governed by that authority.  This authority component is
> >    typically defined by an Internet-based server or a 
> scheme-specific
> >    registry of naming authorities.
> > ]
> > 
> > where a "naming authority" is that agency which (either directly or 
> > indirectly) mints a URI and defines its denotation -- i.e. 
> which names 
> > a resource by a URI.
> > 
> > That authority either equates to, or may designate, the 
> creator (owner) 
> > of a given URI and it is the creator which specifies what 
> the URI denotes.
> Going from naming to denotation is a leap you can't infer directly 
> from that RFC.

But not going from 'naming authority' to authority of denotation.

The presence of a naming authority indicates a framework for 
ownership of URIs and a right to specify the denotation of a URI.

Granted, it's implicit in the RFC, but I think it is fair to infer.
> > 1. URIs should have unambiguous, consistent, global, and 
> immutable denotation.
> IMO, a non-scalable constraint, this will never get built out, 
> architecture be damned.

Note 'should' not 'must'. It is a goal. A presumption. An ideal.

> > 2. Each URI has a specific owner, who has the right to say 
> what it denotes.
> I've said all I've had to say on this, other than go and talk to an 
> expert in constitutional law or human rights.

Yes, the determination of *who* the URI owner is may take alot of
legal activity -- but the idea that there *is* a URI owner who
has the right to say what it denotes is, I think, a common (and
common sense) idea.

> > 3. Statements made by owner of a resource can be considered 
> to have special 
> >    sigificance/authority over statements made by 3rd parties.
> See above.

Again, the determination of who the owner of a resource is may
be difficult, but the idea that there *is* an owner, and that
one may wish to give special credence to statments made by that
owner about the resource is pretty simple.

I.e. the challenge is getting to a widely accepted statement
such as

   _:x dc:owner _:o .

But that doesn't mean the idea that a resource *has* an owner
is itself difficult.

> > How the denotation of a given URI is defined, or how the 
> semantics of the
> > resource denoted are defined, are outside the scope of this 
> particular
> > discussion.
> Follow your own argument, and see if really leads you to this 
> conclusion.

It does. Because Peter was bringing up the issue of how one
*formalizes* the denotation of a resource -- which is completely
orthogonal to issues of ownership and authority to specify the
denotation of a URI.

> >>How is it your URI?
> > 
> > 
> > Because I created it. Is that really so hard to understand?
> Yes.

I'm truly amazed...

> > No. I think you simply want it to be complex. Or perhaps are
> > not able to dissect a number of disjunct issues and address
> > each individually. The issue of URI ownership and denotation
> > is very simple.
> I see no evidence for that claim. Agina IMO, I suspect it's the most 
> complicated issue in web architecture, becauase it is not a 
> technology issue. As likely as not it will be resolved outside the 
> technology realm. Law is architecture in this case.

Again, while it may be legally complex in many cases to determine
*who* the owner of a given URI is, it's trivially simple to understand
that, whomever that owner is, they have the right to say what that URI

And if I believe I own a given URI, you may feel it necessary to engage
in litigation to challenge my ownership of that URI, but that does not
in any way invalidate the claim that the owner of a URI gets to say what
it denotes, and if in fact, the courts conclude that I am in fact the
owner, then you will have to accept my specified denotation or use some
other URI (or open yourself up to litigation for misuse of my URI, etc.).

Yes, there are some nasty legal and social issues involved, but the
fundamental principle that the owner of a URI can say what it denotes
and (typically) the creator of a URI is also the owner of the URI.


Patrick Stickler, Nokia/Finland, (+358 40) 801 9690, patrick.stickler@nokia.com
Received on Thursday, 3 April 2003 02:26:01 UTC

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