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Re: [ontolog-forum] Copyright in Taxonomies: Leading case in US law(ADA

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 12:49:46 -0700
Message-id: <20101028194948.0CD17138E1C@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Looking at the opinion, item [5] explicitly states:


> Facts do not supply their own principles of
> organization. Classification is a creative endeavor. Butterflies may
> be grouped by their color, or the shape of their wings, or their
> feeding or breeding habits, or their habitats, or the attributes of
> their caterpillars, or the sequence of their DNA; each scheme of
> classification could be expressed in multiple ways.


I.e., the choice of which <dimension/column> to use next in recording classification sequences is considered by legal precedent to be a creative process, not NECESSARILY based on any so-called objective criteria.  That seems to be hard for many technical people to accept, but it is the legal precedent that has carried the trial history to date.  This precedent is consistent with the legal notions of individuals having the rights to make creative works and claim them.  





Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2

From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Patrick Cassidy
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 11:45 AM
To: '[ontolog-forum] '
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Copyright in Taxonomies: Leading case in US law(ADA v. Delta Dental)


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 by color.


There may be classifications that depend on imagination rather than logic or objective properties, and perhaps those would be  copyrightable, from this perspective.




Patrick Cassidy



cell: 908-565-4053



From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Christopher Menzel
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 2:33 PM
To: [ontolog-forum]
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 reflect any

      > “natural” 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.

Chris Menzel

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