[uf-new] hAudio/Audio RDF clarification (possible admin moderation request)

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Mon Sep 15 17:36:40 PDT 2008

> Martin McEvoy wrote:
> Yo may be wandering about all the retaliation about "audio rdfa" Manu
> when you Microformats New mailing list with hAudio RDFa  you received
> little support for your endeavour, in fact it was explicitly stated
> that:
>> --- this is one of the things that microformats wants to prevent...
> basically because it causes a "drift" in semantics. you received no
> feedback from the list because we didn't want you to do it. you read
> Brian's email right?  it was an incidental concern.

The reason the hAudio RDFa effort was started was because a number of us
were concerned about what would happen if folks from this community
wanted to do hAudio markup using RDFa, or vice versa. We wanted there to
be nearly parallel ways of marking up semantics about audio in both RDFa
and Microformats. We wanted there to be a clear mapping between the two.

That is of secondary importance, however. I'm disturbed by what you are
implying - that research projects must get the approval of this
community before proceeding. I don't think that anybody in this
community believes that is the best way to proceed - it would lead to a
chilling effect on semantics research if one had to get approval from
the Microformats community before using the basic work that all of us
have done here.

Do you think that scientists should be required to get approval before
doing research on web semantics? That seems to be what you are implying
with the statements you have made above.

> It goes a little further than that,  basically Manu You ripped the
> hAudio Microformat against the wishes of the Microformats Community

I certainly take issue with this - it sounds as if you're accusing me of
plagiarism or something equally evil. We have gone out of our way to let
everyone know that hAudio RDFa and Audio RDF was based[1][2][3] upon
work done on the Microformats community (check the diff-logs and
date/time stamps in the wiki - we have stated this from the beginning).

In addition, it is clearly stated in the patents/copyright section of
each vocabulary document that Digital Bazaar has authored[4][5][6][7]:

This document and all ideas and patentable material outlined in the
document are hereby placed into the public domain. It is our intent that
all future additions, modifications and contributions will be placed
into the public domain as well.

We have released our copyright and control of this vocabulary for the
good of the community and the betterment of the world in the name of
open standards.

We kindly ask that proper credit is given when using the vocabulary. A
line like the following is sufficient:

The Media/Audio/Video/Commerce RDF Vocabulary is an initiative lead by
Digital Bazaar, Inc. and collaborated on by a number of people from the
Web at large, the World Wide Web Consortium, the RDFa community and the
Microformats community.

We have released every vocabulary that we have into the public domain.
Microformats has done the same with hAudio. I fail to see how one
community is ripping the other one off? The whole purpose we have placed
things into the public domain is to ensure that the work we do here and
at Digital Bazaar can be re-used in other places without fear of
copyright restrictions.

> and
> thus seriously damaged the haudio process in fact you almost killed it
> dead. if I could have stopped you I would. lets get hAudio out the
> door first eh!

Getting hAudio to Draft and beyond has always been a high priority and
will continue to be one. hAudio and Audio RDF are pragmatic approaches
to the problem of audio identification. My hope is that they will be
used by the general public to discover new artists via semantic web
techniques. I don't believe that we should bet on one approach or one

I vehemently reject the notion that I am acting against its best
interests or against the best interests of the 60,000+ artists whose
music we distribute. In addition - my entire family is composed of
artists (sculptors, painters, architects, writers, musicians, etc.). I
grew up watching many artists languish in obscurity while those with
better means (money) could market their creations with relative ease. I
view the web, and web semantics as a great equalizer of cultural control.

I have a deep personal commitment to improve the lives of artists and
creators of all walks of life - I founded Digital Bazaar to stand behind
that goal and it is what I have dedicated a very large part of my life
to achieving. Not only for myself, but for the hundreds of thousands of
people that want to make a living creating and bettering our global culture.

Why would I want to stop that? It goes against everything that we're
trying to achieve.

> I request that you refrain from Editing the hAudio wiki further until
> I can be sure you are not serving your own needs.

Elaborate on what personal needs that I am serving. If you are going to
accuse me of doing something nefarious, be specific. I have no problem
addressing any of your concerns in a public forum. I have nothing to
hide and feel that I have been overly transparent, logical and open
about what we're trying to achieve.

> I cant believe you became an invited expert over your efforts. how did
> you deserve that.

You would have to ask the members of the RDFa in XHTML Task Force on why
they accepted me as an Invited Expert. I'm sure they would vouch for all
of the hard work that I have done for that community.

Just like there are people in this community that can vouch for the
countless hours and hard work that I have volunteered, along with the
other fine contributors - including yourself, in getting hAudio to the
point that it is at now.

> I will be adding Myself as Editor on the Version 1.0  format, because
> I don't have some other agenda other than completing haudio.

Had you approached this in a non-combative manner, I would have not
taken issue with what you are proposing. However, to say that I have
done something wrong and, I presume, to forcibly remove me from the
specification would need the intervention of a group of people other
than either of us. If you would like to proceed down this road, please
state exactly what you think I have done wrong and make your request to
the admins in this forum and not through private e-mail.

Your approach is offensive to say the least. Even with that realization,
I still think that your heart is in the right place and if you want to
do some minor edits to hAudio in order to get it to Draft, I'm certainly
not going to stand in your way. In fact, I would encourage it - just as
I have been over the past several weeks[8][9][10].

> Manu If you Ignore this email like you seem to conveniently do, I will
> post this email to the list because I think you will be ignoring me
> and I really would like some answers this time publicly or privately.

There is a very large chasm between the concept of "ignoring" and "not
having enough time to respond". My e-mail load hovers around 100-150
e-mails that I must read a day - on average, I respond to about 30-40
e-mails a day and work 13-15 hour days (that's actual hours worked, not
counting breakfast, lunch and dinner). I don't have time to get to every
e-mail I want to respond to and quite often miss important e-mails.
There are several others on this list in the same situation - we do our
best, but can't always make everyone happy.

Just to be clear - accusing me of mis-conduct and then threatening to
make the information public is a terrible way to get a response. It will
backfire each and every time you attempt to do it.

I regret that you have taken this most reprehensible approach to do
whatever it is that you are trying to do. If you goal is to out me as
some sort of double-crossing semantics standards spy, you are going to
fail. I have better things to do with my time than get wrapped up in
some sort of petty standards fight - I care about helping artists make a
decent living, everything else is a logical byproduct of that mission.

-- manu


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