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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontolog IPR issues

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Toby.Considine@xxxxxxxxx
From: Ken Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 17:33:21 -0400
Message-id: <CF1CEDBB-2303-4306-984D-43B109C93EE0@xxxxxxxxx>
I think what you are more likely to see on this forum is 

This is my PhD research and I'm screwed if someone publishes this material before I defend.

We are not immune from the patent games played by big companies, trolls, or anyone in between but I think those on the forum from commercial ventures know better than to blab sensitive material.  For those truly trying to extend the art in a collaborative environment, I think a modicum of professionalism will go a long way.


On May 6, 2008, at 4:59 PM, Ron Wheeler wrote:


A person who post something saying "I don't want anyone else to write 
about this until I get a chance to do it" , is too silly to be taken 

Plagerism is frowned on but once you borrow from 2 sources, I think it 
is called research.
I don't believe that copyright protects one from having people make 
reasonable quotes with attribution and paraphrasing with few restrictions.


Toby Considine wrote:
Of course, while IANAL, I believe the litigated standard is that the 
legal standing of an email footer read after you have already read the 
document is null.

------------- Legal Footnote ------------------
"Any ideas accidentally divulged in this email are not just my 
personal property, but may be taboo in your jurisdiction. Please 
forward legal fees to me immediately or, because of the taboo thing, 
pluck out your own eyes as indicated by the relevant customs."

On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 3:07 PM, Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx 

    Ken Laskey wrote:

The problem with IPR is similar to the age-old academics feuds
    of who
came up with what first.

    Ah, if only that were the issue.

    The age-old academic feuds were about getting peer recognition and
    credit for the work or the idea.  Academics had no expectation of
    significant income from their ideas -- the best they could hope
    for was
    increased sales of their books.

    Modern IPR in industrial communities is about using a form of
    "copyright" as a substitute for "patent", and the expectation is that
    "license" will/may produce significant income for someone, or keep
    others out of a domain in which the person/firm hopes to produce a
    product that will generate significant income.

    This difference in motivation is key to understanding why IPR is a big
    deal.  It is not about getting credit for an idea, it is about who
    the money on the idea.

    License for copyrighted material used to be about reproduction,
    that was the means of dissemination and therefore the means of making
    money on it.  But we can no longer easily control the reproduction of
    any representations of ideas or artistic contributions because the
    physical medium is publicly accessible and cheap.  So the artistic
    professions are busy inventing artificial legal controls on the
    dissemination rather than the reproduction.

    But somehow, in IT and then other engineering and scientific
    communities, we have turned these artificial controls into a new legal
    concept -- "intellectual property rights".  When we talk about IPR, we
    are talking about "owning a concept", not just the right to
    reproduce a
    particular representation.  And traditionally, ownership of a concept
    that has commercial value is the domain of *patent*.  Patent is about
    owning the use of an idea in a device for a particular purpose.
     And to
    get a patent, you have to demonstrate that the idea is new, the
    application to the purpose is new, or the mechanism of use of the idea
    in the device is radically different from any other device for the
    purpose.  You don't just assert that you had the concept first; you
    demonstrate that you used that advantage in time to create the first
    useful application.

    Instead of using patent intelligently and being more careful about our
    information leakage, we have created a field day for the lawyers.  We
    are trying to shortcut the patent process by claiming ownership of an
    idea based solely on publication of the concept, without having to
    an associated product design and a feasibility demonstration.  And
    in so
    doing, we are trying to patent ideas instead of uses of ideas,
    instead of designs.

    Artists don't copyright concepts; they copyright performances and
     Authors don't copyright ideas; they copyright their presentation of
    them.  And engineers don't patent concepts; they patent designs that
    demonstrate the use of them.

    But now we have "intellectual property rights" -- ownership of ideas.
    And we should all be very afraid.

You don't want to overly limit what can be
brought into a discussion ...

    That depends on who "you" is.  In engineering communities, if you are
    developing product designs, you don't bring your ideas to public
    until after you have made the patent applications.  And if that is
    you are doing, you don't contribute to the public forums anything more
    than is needed to accomplish whatever your objective in participation
    is.  It's a different world, and joint engineering activities have
    careful disclosure rules, in order to avoid compromising
    patentable designs.

For Ontolog, we exchange ideas and if anyone feels infringed upon,
the recourse would seem to follow the traditional academic paths.

    It would, if we didn't need lawyers to protect those paths.
    We are hiring lawyers and developing IPR rules to protect the free
    academic exchange of ideas from the misguided and the conniving and
    their lawyers.  That is, we are protecting our academic exchange from
    intruders who do not have the academic mindset.

If people feel there is a need to make disclosure statements
    that are
readily available for others to find, we may need to consider such a

    If people feel the need to "make disclosure statements", to the effect
    that a given email contains licensed intellectual property, as
    from simply citing a published work, further discussion of the
    topic in
    question should terminate instantly, and the viability of the forum is
    in doubt.  And yes, if we start to see that kind of thing as a regular
    occurrence, "free academic exchange" will be a thing of the past.


    P.S. I apologize for the soapbox performance, but I view the current
    legal work on IP with great alarm.  Maybe, once enough lawyers
    have been
    paid to craft the language under which we can continue doing
    business as
    usual in tripartite (industry/academe/government) communities, the
    magilla will blow over.  But "I pray thee, put in to yonder port,
    for I
    fear a hurricane."

    P.P.S.  This is NOT a NIST position.  It is mine.  (And I hope I'm too
    late to claim the IPR.)

    Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
    National Institute of Standards & Technology
    Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
    100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694

    "The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST,
     and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."

    Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
    Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so 
regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has 
opened for us." -- Alexander Graham Bell
Toby Considine
Chair, OASIS oBIX TC http://www.oasis-open.org
Toby.Considine@xxxxxxxxx <mailto:Toby.Considine@xxxxxxxxx>
Phone: (919)619-2104
blog: www.NewDaedalus.com <http://www.NewDaedalus.com>



Ken Laskey
MITRE Corporation, M/S H305      phone: 703-983-7934
7151 Colshire Drive                         fax:       703-983-1379
McLean VA 22102-7508

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