Actually, it seems to me that a classification system would be
copyrightable only to the extent that its categories do *not* reflect
some experimentally or logically verifiable property of the entities it
classifies. For example, the one can define the class of red things as
necessarily those that have the property of being red. Then, to create a
classification of things by their color would make it logically impossible to
assert a color property to things, because that would by implication create a classification
There may be classifications that depend on imagination rather
than logic or objective properties, and perhaps those would be
copyrightable, from this perspective.
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Christopher
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 2:33 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Copyright in Taxonomies: Leading case in US
law (ADA v. Delta Dental)
On 10/28/2010 12:55 PM, Peter F Brown (Pensive) wrote:
> All classification systems are
human-created and none
objective truth or set of “facts”.
On the face of it, a preposterous view -- the classification system of
modern astronomy does not reflect a more objectively correct view of the
physical universe than the Ptolemaic view or -- why not? -- the system
of Thales on which everything is ultimately water? Granted, there are
more sophisticated versions of the thesis, but even then there is
nothing approaching any sort of unanimity on the matter.
> Easterbrook obviously studied
his Lakoff properly.
I guess I missed the memo announcing that Lakoff had settled the
centuries-old debate between realism and anti-realism. That said, the
relevance of the debate to ontological engineering is not at all clear.
But the arguments of Barry Smith and others show, at the least, that
even that is far from settled.