A call for open source DTDs

Rick Jelliffe ricko at allette.com.au
Thu Oct 15 20:53:35 BST 1998

> From: owner-xml-dev at ic.ac.uk [mailto:owner-xml-dev at ic.ac.uk]On Behalf Of
> John Cowan

> Rick Jelliffe wrote:
> > One thing you should do to minimize any copyright if you are
> worried is to
> > reformat the source code, and replace all comments with your
> own. Comments
> > and layout both have "originality", which certainly may be copyrighted.
> That doesn't help.  Such a document is a derivative work, and the right
> to make derivative works is one of the copyright owner's rights.  Unless
> you have a public or private license, you may not make derivative works.

But there are few structures which can be proprietary: most structures are
found in common use in any DTD, or can be traced first to ISO DTDs. For
example, most of the basic HTML elements can also be found in the ISO 8879
general DTD; apparantly these found their way indirectly to CERN through
some a derived DTD in seminars. So it is hard to find a content model which
has any originality, that leaves names and comments and layout.

Let me put it another way. If your content models are common (no
originality=no copyright), and if the element names are insdustry standard
(no oringality=no copyright), then you should still rewrite comments and
rejig the layout.

Does anyone seriously think that someone can have copyright over
	<!ELEMENT title ( #PCDATA )>
for example?

Rick Jelliffe

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