[uf-new] rel=license scoping and hAudio

Toby A Inkster mail at tobyinkster.co.uk
Wed Aug 20 09:27:04 PDT 2008

For the purposes of illustration, say I'm writing an article entitled  
"Music in the Digital Age" discussing how the Internet has changed  
modern music. I may wish to write that:

   <span class="haudio">
     <span class="contributor">Nine Inch Nails</span>
     released their recent album
     <span class="album">Ghosts I-IV</span> under a
     <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/"
     rel="license">Creative Commons license</a>

Now, an hAudio parser (of which there are few) will interpret this as  
meaning that the Nine Inch Nails' album is released under that licence.

But a general rel=license parser (of which there are many, including  
Yahoo! (cc) Search, Google Usage Rights Search, and absolutely any  
RDFa parser) will interpret this as meaning that the whole page is  
available under that licence, which may not be the case.

With rel-tag, the scoping issue is of less importance. If I want to  
tag, say, a particular hCard with a tag of "Tennis" because that  
person is a tennis player, it is not too unreasonable if the whole  
page is interpreted as being tagged "Tennis" - after all, the page  
does mention a tennis player, so does have an (albeit perhaps minor)  
topic of "Tennis".

With rel-license scoping has potentially major legal ramifications.  
Essentially it means that any rel=license link found needs to be  
manually checked to determine exactly what the licence applies to.  
And if one needs to manually inspect a page to determine its licence,  
then rel=license is adding no value.

Toby A Inkster
<mailto:mail at tobyinkster.co.uk>

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