Ownership of Names (was Re: Public identifiers and topic maps)

David Brownell db at Eng.Sun.COM
Tue Sep 29 06:01:54 BST 1998

david at megginson.com wrote:
> W. Eliot Kimber writes:
>  > So I maintain my assertion that names, not just name spaces, are
>  > ownable things.  If this were not the case, Compaq would not have
>  > spent 3.something million dollars to buy the name
>  > "www.altavista.com".  QED.
> If you wanted to express the point formally, you could say that each
> unique combination of
>   { namespace, time }
> or
>   { namespace, time, name }
> is ownable.  Eliot owns drmacro.com at 00:00:01 GMT 28 September 1998
> (and for a while before and after).

Of course, I hope everyone understands that we're being
sloppy here when we say "namespace" by assuming we all
mean the same thing.  Eliot certainly doesn't own the
name (context) "drmacro.com" in any table I maintain;
while it may be true in a table NIC maintains, there's
no sense in attempting to keep people from defining their
own naming context ("namespace") and the names within
them ("drmacro.com" etc).

This is one of the things that makes naming discussions
go on, and on ... there are an infinite number of contexts
and it's more or less impossible to say things that can
be true for every possible context.  Time is only one
of the variables!

- Dave

> Vanity of vanities, dust to dust, and all that.

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