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Re: [ontology-summit] [Quality] What means "open" in "Open Ontology Repo

To: Ontology Summit 2008 <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Fabian Neuhaus <fabian.neuhaus@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 13:19:20 -0400
Message-id: <47DEA818.8040504@xxxxxxxx>

Okay, let me try to summarize. Everybody, please let me know  if  I 
misrepresented  your position.    (01)

We are discussing the scope of the OOR, thus the minimal requirements an 
ontology has to meet.    (02)

Peter Yim and Ravi Sharma  suggest the following:
(i) the ontology is based on open standards AND
(ii) an ontology that is created and maintained in a cooperative process 
that is, in principle, open to everybody who wants to participate AND
(iii) an ontology that is created and maintained in a transparent 
process AND
(iv) the ontology is accessible to all who can be identified or 
authenticated (at least Read only) AND
(v) the ontology is available under a license that includes virtually no 
restrictions on the use and distribution of the ontology.    (03)

[I assume that a standard is considered to be "open" if and only if it 
meets analogs of criteria (ii)-(v), FN]    (04)

Matthew West objects to (v).
Pat Hayes objects to (ii) and (iii).    (05)

It seems to me that this discussion won't be resolved easily. If nobody 
objects, I will put it on the list of topics to be discussed on the 
Ontological Summit during the "Quality and Gatekeeping" section.    (06)

Fabian    (07)

Pat Hayes wrote:
> At 12:09 AM +0000 3/15/08, <matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Dear Pat,
>>>  The first. Only the ISO has this absurd policy of
>>>  charging cash for standards;
>> MW: There are others.
>> MW: But lets be precise about this. The problem has its
>> roots in ISO essentially seeing itself as a publishing house.
>> That at least is how it gets its income. The up side is that it
>> does not charge to participate in standards development. Try the
>> OMG charges if you want to see how much that can be, even if
>> their specs are free to users (or W3C for that matter).
> I don't see why that matters, in the case of ontologies. The process 
> that gave rise to ontology is really not of any relevance: what 
> matters is the final product and the ability to use it. That is what 
> we should be focused upon.
>> MW: Now I think that ISO is outdated in thinking like this, and
>> many of us are trying to persuade them to change, but that is
>> still the current situation.
>> MW: Now, in ISO TC184/SC4 we have managed to get dispensation
>> to make all the computer interpretable stuff, i.e. what you need
>> to implement the standard. So suppose someone makes their
>> OWL ontology available free, but then publishes a book through
>> a publisher (who naturally charges for it) explaining its use.
>> How would you see that?
> If the same source published the book and the ontology, and if the 
> book was the only 'manual' or documentation available, I think this 
> would be close to inadmissible, and certainly bad practice. The issue 
> here is not charging for the book, but withholding what should be 
> part of the openly accessible ontology itself.
>> How would that be different from what
>> ISO TC 184/SC4 does.
>>>  moreover, I would
>>>  not say that Matthew's interpretation of 'open'
>>>  is universally accepted. The W3C is not open in
>>>  this sense, for example.
>> MW: Indeed I would certainly NOT see W3C as open. This concerned
>> some enough that they moved to OASIS.
> But the results of the W3C process are openly available to anyone 
> without any payment, which for standard adoption is surely the main 
> point. Agencies pay a membership fee to join the W3C, but that makes 
> sense to me: parties that are interested enough to want to influence 
> a standard for commercial reasons tend to be those that can easily 
> afford such membership fees. And the process is 'open' in the sense 
> of being conducted in public: all the email archives, minutes of 
> meetings. etc. are publicly available and archived.
>>>  >Is the OOR supposed restricted to ontologies that are developed in an
>>>  >open process and come with very light weight copyright
>>>  licenses (e.g. *
>>>  >*Creative Commons Attribution )?
>>>  Certainly the latter. Lets take a stand on this.
>>>  It does not eliminate ISO participation, but it
>>>  does require them to make any relevant standards
>>>  freely available. They can do this, and have done
>>>  it in the past.
>> MW: Indeed, see above.
>>>  Putting something into the OOR
>>>  should make it automatically available for access
>>>  and use without restriction; like the GNU
>>>  licences, it should not permit other copyright
>>>  restrictions to be 'passed through' its open
>>>  policy.
>>>  >Or is OOR open for all ontologies that are developed in an
>>>  open process
>>>  >regardless of their copyright license?
>>>  >Would the OOR be open for ontologies that are developed and
>>>  maintained
>>>  >by a group of people who don't want to participate in an open process
>>>  >but are willing to publish their ontology as a freely
>>>  available resource
>>>  >for the community?
>>>  I have no problem with that part. We should
>>>  permit ontologies that were constructed by one
>>>  person in total privacy, or written on stone
>>>  tablets by God, as long as they are freely
>>>  available for public use without restriction.
>>>  This is what 'open' means in 'open cyc', for
>>>  example.
>> MW: I think the lack of an open process is a problem
> Why? If someone writes a useful ontology, or one is developed by a 
> small team, what possible harm can there be in making this publicly 
> available?
>> ,
>> but I'm actually prepared to be more permissive.
>> For most of these issues above, I think the most
>> important thing is to be clear about what the
>> situation is. So there is a clear statement as to
>> whether:
>> - There is an open process for development
>> - How much do you have to pay to participate in that process?
>> - What is free, and what is not, and how much that is
>> MW: I do not suffer from the illusion that there are
>> no costs in developing an ontology. The only real
>> question is what is the business model?
>> - pay to join the development organization
>> - donate own time and resources to contribute
>> - sell services based on deliverables
>> - pay for deliverables
>> - ...
>> MW: In fact what I dislike most are the organizations
>> that charge for membership to participate in development.
> Well, in defense of the W3C, it has managed to extract a quite 
> remarkable amount of participation from me without my paying a red 
> cent. On the other hand, I havn't been paid a red cent, either.
> Pat
>       (08)

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