The heading for "2." should have read: (02)
"2. Thoughts on *the Letter of the Ontolog IPR Policy* and IPR
protection in general" (03)
(corrected below) (04)
Peter P. Yim wrote Mon, 05 May 2008 15:24:09 -0700: [updated]
> There's been recent discussions relating to Intellectual Property Rights
> (IPR) and work posted to the Ontolog collaborative environment after a
> member of the community felt that her IPR has been infringed upon. While
> that member's concerns were mainly directed towards a particular
> initiative (and therefore, I will try respond separately), others have
> suggested we take the opportunity to clarify Ontolog's position in
> relation to IPR issues. This is my attempt to make such clarification,
> and hope that we all emerge with better alignment in our understanding
> of the subject.
> I am not a lawyer ("IANAL" ... I just learned that through ChrisMenzel's
> recent post), therefore, anyone who has issues with what is said here is
> advised to consult an IP professional on the matter.
> I will try to address the matter from what I envisage, both from the
> *spirit* and from the *letter* of Ontolog's IPR Policy, which, by the
> way, has hardly changed since Ontolog was started in 2002.
> 1. *The Spirit of the Ontolog IPR Policy*
> Ontolog is constituted as an "open, international, virtual community of
> practice" (ref.
> http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nidB ). Therefore,
> one can almost take "open" as our firstname, and "community of practice"
> as our lastname. What we are trying here, in a nutshell, is to foster
> sharing and collaboration, and to facilitate the building of a
> collective body of knowledge that can stay "free" and "open."
> By "open," as our very simple IPR policy states: (ref.
> http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid32 )
> Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy (32)
> * the [ontolog-forum] is chartered to be an OPEN forum. As such, all
> contribution to this forum by its community membership shall have been
> made under an open content license, open publication license or one of
> the free software or open source licenses. (See also:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/free_content) (33)
> o unless otherwise specified, content within the [ontolog-forum]
> collaborative work environment shall be subject to OpenContent License
> (OPL), Version 1.0, July 14, 1998 or its successor. (see
> http://opencontent.org/opl.shtml) (34)
> o when in doubt, IPR matters relating to the [ontolog-forum]
> default to the OASIS IPR policy (in accordance with the processes
> defined in our reconstitution of September 2002.) (35)
> o those who are unable to contribute under the above licensing
> arrangements should refrain from contributing to the [ontolog-forum]
> content. (36)
> Our membership policy also states: (ref.
> http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J )
> * this is an OPEN, virtual Community of Practice ("CoP"), operated by
> the community itself (1M)
> * anyone who would want to participate and contribute in accordance with
> this CoP's charter, and consents to abide by its IPR policy and other
> by-laws which the community shall set-forth, is welcomed to join. To
> date, there is no fee or cost to participate, except that members are
> expected to be team players and contribute to our mission as much as,
> and in whatever way they can. (1N)
> * please ensure that your posts are relevant (to our Community Charter),
> and that it complies with our IPR Policy. (ZBG)
> * unless specifically requested/solicited by other community member(s),
> please make sure any commercial- or self-promotion material or reference
> are strictly limited to one's namesake page or a short signature block,
> and nowhere else as far as our open collaborative work environment is
> concerned. The co-conveners reserve the right to relocate or remove of
> such material from within the CWE, if deemed inappropriately done, to
> the extent that it affects the neutrality and commercial free work
> environment that this CWE is set out to be. (LMK)
> Noting also, that, by "community of practice (CoP)," we are going by the
> way John Seely Brown (from Xerox PARC who coined the term back in the
> 1980's) sees it: " ... small group of people who've worked together over
> a period of time. Not a team, not a task force, not necessarily an
> authorized or identified group. They are peers in the execution of "real
> work." What holds them together is a common sense of purpose and a real
> need to know what each other knows."
> Of particular interest is the fact that we are archiving all the Ontolog
> transactions in our collaborative work environment (CWE), which serves
> as a dynamic knowledge repository for us (in the sense that Doug
> Engelbart have pointed us toward, albeit in a lesser way), and are thus,
> building a collective body of knowledge as community members interact.
> If it is not clear enough (from the above policies and from Chris
> Menzel's 2008.05.03 post - ref.
> http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontology-summit/2008-05/msg00008.html ),
> let me repeat here, Ontolog is intended to be a (virtual) place where
> people can openly and freely exchange ideas, with minimal encumbrance by
> IPR issues. We want our members to share ideas, collaborate, remix (as
> Larry Lessig would call it,) stand on each others' shoulders (rather
> than re-invent the wheel) ... etc. etc., and generate more and better
> ideas by being a community of practice. Not only are sharing,
> collaboration, etc. allowed, they are encouraged here (again, of course,
> within the bounds of Ontolog's simple IPR and membership policies.)
> Those who don't like it, may even call that "steal," rob," hijack," or
> whatever derogatory term they may think of, but within the bounds of our
> CWE and our IPR and membership policies, that is allow, and encouraged.
> ... The recourse, for those who don't like it has been clearly stated in
> our IPR policy, they "should [just] refrain from contributing." ... Be
> it known, that Ontolog is not intended to be an IPR repository. Anyone
> seeking IPR protection is most probably better served by other means
> (like keeping their IPR under wraps as trade secrets, going about
> copyrighting, trade marking, service marking or patenting their work
> 2. Thoughts on *the Letter of the Ontolog IPR Policy* and IPR protection
> in general
> Ontolog is a CoP ... it is NOT a legal entity.
> IPR to contributions that goes into the Ontolog archived CWE (and hence
> the collective body of knowledge) belong to the individual(s) who made
> the contribution (to the extent traceable.)
> Conversely, breaches of IPR can only come from individuals or parties
> who are in the act of making the breach.
> To properly understand what the Ontolog IPR Policy entails, I would
> suggest that anyone interested should read through those few bullets
> (under: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid32 ) as
> well as the articles behind the links there.
> Try reading up on:
> * The Free Software Definition - http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
> * The Open Source definition -
> * Open Source Licenses - http://opensource.org/licenses/category
> * Open Standards Requirements - http://opensource.org/osr-intro
> * Creative Commons License -
> ... one should also find the readings recently suggested by PeterBenson
> and ChristopherBaker
> very helpful too.
> I suspect people who are not familiar with IP, IPR and IPR protection
> might easily miss the following basic tenets (prevalent under regimes
> where I operate,) and therefore, I list a few pertinent ones below just
> so we are all on the same page:
> * the purpose of IPR statutes, in general, are there to foster
> innovation and permit the free flow of ideas
> * one cannot patent an idea ... one only goes about patenting suitably
> qualified inventions, process, software, plants, etc.
> * to patent an anything, it has to be (a) novel, and (b) non-obvious (in
> particular, non-obvious to someone knowledgeable in the field.)
> * one cannot copyright a word, a title, a short phrase, etc.
> * one cannot copyright an idea ... one only copyrights its expression in
> an Original Work of Authorship (OWA) (say, a drawing, a piece of
> writing, a music composition, etc.)
> Once again, IANAL; therefore, anyone who has issues with what is said
> here is advised to consult an IP professional for clarification. If I
> got things wrong, please correct me so I can get it right the next time.
> I hope the above helps clarify matters.
> Regards. =ppy
> Peter Yim
> Co-convener, Ontolog
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