Re: VL funding

Kirk Bowe wrote:

>  What I'm getting at is the fact that we are a valuable and exciting 
> resource: with the future ahead of us. Perhaps at some point we would all 
> be stored on some central machine at MIT, with mirrors in all major 
> areas, providing the world with the only true virtual library.
>  Off the record: forget our current sponsors, whether they be 
> universities or other institutions. They are merely transitional: we are 
> the Virtual Library (thanks to Arthur!). We need to address and implement 
> the following points:
> 	1) Standardize a copyright along the lines of "Copyright (C) 1995 
> The Virtual Library, a part of the WWW3 Consortium". We should accept 
> that copyright in the "presentation of the pages" will be passed to MIT, 
> with us all as signatories to the contract, and entitled to some share in 
> the return on any commercial dealings concerning the Library (this would 
> mean that we would no longer be anonymous to each other!);

	i do not know enough about copyrights to be sure, but this may be
tricky given the various businesses and organizations which together have
supported the WWWVL up till now - for this kind of situation we may need 
a copyright lawyer's advice who is up on the new frontier of net law.  it 
certainly would be nice to have all contributors benefit from the services
that we offer as a whole.

> 	2) Be stored centrally on a new server (to which we would all have
> login/mail access). This server would be mirrored across the planet;

	i would agree that centralisation of the sort the WWWVL already has 
is very useful - one stop shopping - but i, for one, would not like to loose 
that simultaneously decentralised feel unique to the WWWVL - pointers to a 
vast number of subject pages on different machines.  it MAY be inevitable 
that we become a more ordered, centralised, homogeneous entity, but there 
are many drawbacks as well as advantages to this sort of change.  other 
options have already been suggested. 

> 	3) Standardize a ``look and feel'' (once we are all on the same

	again, a standard interface is great (as any mac lover will tell you)
but it IS stagnating, and one of the very nice things about the WWWVL is 
the variety out there.  i certainly don't look forward to the day when i have
to ask permission from a central board to experiment with a new button on my 

> 	4) Generate total, not localised, sponsorship;

	this would be very helpful to me, as a state worker.  i generally work 
on the Environment page off the clock because it does not bear directly on my 
job.  an external source of revenue would be very encouraging, and free me to 
put more hours into it.

>  This is an area which begs urgent discussion from all of us. I'm sure 
> that I'm not alone when I mention the fact that I am constantly 
> approached by publishers asking for permission to print a screenshot in 
> their latest book, etc. 

 	in june of 1994, John December asked me for permission to use "my site" in a book he was writing about the WWW.  the subject line of his letter was:
Your web site http://ecosys.drdr.virginia.edu/EcoWeb.html.  but when i bought a 
copy of his book, "World Wide Web UNLEASHED", i noticed that in addition to 
printing the top of the Virtual Library page, he used my Environment.html page
as the example WWWVL page.  i didn't really think about it at the time, but 
with this discussion going on, i suppose i feel a bit vulnerable - i never gave 
him permission to use the Environment page, and i wonder if he got permission 
to use the main WWWVL page.  

	i suppose i should go ahead and slap a copyright message at the bottom 
of the page, but i feel it belongs as much or more to the WWWVL as to me.  when 
i volunteered to maintain a WWWVL page, i didn't think, "i will keep a page, 
and they may point to it."  instead, i thought, "they are offering a cool 
service, and i would like to help them do it."

> I want us to become a strong functional unit -- despite the fact that we 
> are spread across the globe!


>  Finally: please contribute to this debate - it is *very* important and 
> will affect our future! Perhaps Arthur should set up a moderated news 
> group to which we can contribute our ideas. This would have the added 
> benefit of allowing everyone else to see our open discussions.

sounds good if Arthur doesn't mind ANOTHER thing being dropped on him.

Tom Rowe  			Phone: (804)982-4976
Environmental Information	E-mail: vegan@virginia.edu	
University of Virginia, U.S.A	HTTP://ecosys.drdr.virginia.edu/www.html