[uf-discuss] Voluntary Public Domain declarations now enabled onthe wiki

Ernest Prabhakar ernest.prabhakar at gmail.com
Tue Jul 31 22:22:46 PDT 2007

[Apologies if this is off-topic, but I'm not sure where/how else to  
discuss this]

Hi Joe,

On Jul 31, 2007, at 9:54 PM, Joe Andrieu wrote:
> I expect that many of the leadership find this train of thought  
> distasteful. It is, as it stinks of unproductive legal  
> confrontations. But such are a part of life and business in high  
> tech entrepreneurship and development. Shoving it under the rug  
> doesn't make it go away.

I appreciate your comments, and I do believe that they are well- 
intentioned and intended to be constructive.

That said, I can't help but wonder if this is one of the (few) cases  
where we *can* ignore the problem, and it *might* go away.

 From what I can see, several large organizations (e.g., Google,  
Wikpedia, LinkedIn) have made major efforts to incorporate  
microformat content.  I personally find it hard to envision a  
sustained legal challenge that would cause those organizations to  
reverse course.

To be sure, that may simply be a lack of imagination on my (and  
their) part.  But -- as someone who deals with licensing on a regular  
basis, as an OSI Board Observer -- the lack of formal legal  
protection does not appear to be hindering microformats adoption "in  
the large", even if there are individual corporations that choose not  
to participate.

Under the circumstances, is there really any hard evidence that this  
is something the community *must* deal with, or is it simply a "gut  
feeling" based on how other standards organizations handle such issues?

-- Ernie P.

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