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 15:24:16 -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
> 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)
> 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.
> ), 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 instead.)
> 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 -
> * 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
> 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
> -- (06)
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