Re: Virtual Library: museums and funding

In response for the need for a clear copyright status on the
virtual library, a possibility would be to make it a condition
of participation that copyright be transferred to the W3 Consortium
(ie MIT) to be made available to the general public, with the 

understanding that MIT would keep it available to the public
on the web for free, with a constraint that
sponsorship and authorship notices be retained in all copies made.
This is basically how it works with contributed W3C code.
This could allow MIT to act on behalf of all authors in 

allowing for example publication of paper snapshots, with
any income fed back into the VLib.  Without a transfer to a single
copyright it is very difficult to control distribution or
negotiate sponsorship or paper publication fees.  Afterward,
it is possible to work with an advertizing agency or funding body.
There is an option. Another possibility to perform the role of
MIT/W3C would be ISoc.

It seems to me that it is reasonable to allow sponsorship and a
sponsor space on the bottom of pages (and reasonable of those of you
who are doing it on employer time to acknowledge your employer as
a sponsor in effect!)

I have heard of complaints that some really good bits of the
library are on the end of slow links.  We could certainly
solve this by setting up a mirror on the W3C site of the whole
VLIB.  The W3C site is already mirrored in Switzerland and Massachusetts
and we plan to increase that.  The availability of the library
is a quality factor which doesn't cost as much as your valuable time
authoring it.

I feel that the library as an unbiased and free framework for
anyone to find things on the web by subject is incredibly valuable,
and one of the best answers to the complaint that the web is a mess.
So keeping it free, keeping it available, and keeping it neutral
and always aiming for higher and higher quality and consistency are
very important.  I think you are all doing a really great job,
and really helping the web in general by it. Keep it up!

Tim BL

Tim Berners-Lee	                    Director, W3 Consortium
MIT Laboratory for Computer Science Phone +1 (617) 253 5702
545 Technology Square               Fax   +1 (617) 258 8682
Cambridge MA 02139, USA             Email      timbl@w3.org