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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Re: Rethinking Licensing

cdent wrote:    (01)

> (This post in honor of Jon Awbrey.)    (02)

I take it you're on the PORT or SUO lists. If you are unaware, Jon
and I are working together on some tools to assist him in creating
web content. The results, called an Augmented Plain Text processor,
take plaintext content with a few short codes to indicate headings    (03)

and converts it into valid XHTML, complete with a TOC and properly     (04)

indented divisions. This is part of the Ceryle project, soon to be    (05)

delivered. (Jon is my seemingly-willing guinea pig...)    (06)

> Murray,
> I'd hate to think that a suggestion of mine caused yet another
> valuable participant to slip out of view. I learn something from
> you just about every time you post, and that's why I'm
> participating: to learn things.    (07)

Well, Chris, I am flattered by your comments, but I should perhaps
correct what seems to be a misunderstanding. I'm not unsubscribing
from the list, I'm just going into lurk mode until some measure of
a more formalized process is worked out, such that what happens to
many of the ideas expounded upon on the mailing list has been made
more clear. This is of serious concern to me, as this should be to
all of us. No, no slip on your part - the licensing discussion was
taking its toll; your comments merely brought me to publicly state
what I had been planning anyway.    (08)

> However, it does seem like something needs to be done, especially
> if there is interest in getting Doug to participate. Your post
> suggests that the state of the mailing lists is not a major
> factor in participation, whereas licensing and process is.
> The process and license suggested by Doug and Mei Lin in other
> postings appear to be:
> - OHS, including the preliminary HyperScope, is GPL
> - participatory process involves
>   - creating ideas on the list as focussed discussion
>   - feeding them to Doug and some others on a weekly basis
>   - refactoring the ideas based on feedback
>   - coding prototypes of the ideas
> Is that a correct or incorrect interpretation? Is that a good or
> bad model?
> If that model is followed, is the current list situation okay?    (09)

I don't think there's inherently anything wrong with any of what
you've written, but none of it is formal. And it doesn't satisfy
what's been stated as necessary for this list, which is to start
working on an OHS specification. I don't have a quibble with the
list being used for that. It's just that there have been quite a
lot of good ideas floating around here, with any clever business
person able to take these ideas and go to market with them. That
would be fine if that is the understanding, but I am not willing
to participate in such an endeavour simply in order to help make
someone some money. I used to get paid good money for doing that.
If we aren't necessarily advancing the OHS (which perhaps we are,
perhaps we're not -- that remains to be seen) and if the process
and license aren't worked out, then it seems we're a. not moving
forward, and b. giving away our gold needlessly.    (010)

This might seem a bit strange from someone who has publicly
stated that he's planning on giving away his ideas (as part
of Ceryle and my Ph.D. program), but I consider that rather
differently. I've been rather critical of the W3C's process
at times, since I've seen that process really abused, and I
had never thought it a good process to begin with -- it has
improved somewhat, though last time I heard they were again
in a quagmire over IPR rights and licensing. Microsoft, IBM,
and other big companies are playing ugly games with IPR and
I'm hesitant nowadays. I didn't like the fact that my works
were owned by Sun, even works that Sun didn't request of me
as part of my job. The rights to my own work was one of the
reasons I left.    (011)

With the W3C, I never liked working under its dictatorship,
but at least it has a formal process that to a respectable
degree protects the intellectual investment of its players,
who demand this (as both large and small companies with IP
investments in both people and ideas). We need that here.    (012)

But I (actually) don't mean to preach. I merely mean
to step into lurk mode until some reasonable process
has been agreed upon in this regard. I think it kind
of pointless for us non-lawyers to continue to argue
about licensing. Until there is a formalized process,
each of us participating here simply has to consider
what ideas (if any) we give away. I don't think this
is particularly selfish, perhaps it's more unselfish
in the end. I just don't want to be giving away (for
free) all these ideas, if some corporation will just
take them to the bank. If we're going to do that, we
should at least understand that we are. It is just a
bit too hazy for my taste right now.    (013)

Murray    (014)

Murray Altheim                  <http://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/murray/>
Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK7 6AA, UK    (015)

      In the evening
      The rice leaves in the garden
      Rustle in the autumn wind
      That blows through my reed hut.  -- Minamoto no Tsunenobu    (016)