XSL Debate, Leventhal responds to Stephen Deach

David Brownell david-b at pacbell.net
Wed Jun 23 18:26:18 BST 1999

"Simon St.Laurent" wrote:
> At 06:43 AM 6/23/99 -0700, David Brownell wrote:
> >> If companies are concerned about information reuse, they should look into
> >> other mechanisms for limiting redistribution, including the simple step of
> >> putting a group of copyright lawyers on retainer.  There are other ways to
> >> solve these problems that don't involve keeping the Web as dumb as
> >> possible.
> >
> >Even for large organizations which can afford a fleet of lawyers,
> >it's a lot more cost-effective to avoid creating the problem in
> >the first place.  If the first lawyer you talk to doesn't point
> >that out, you'd need to replace him/her ...
> Now that we've reached cost of lawyers to companies vs. costs to the Web as
> a whole, maybe we'd better take this off XML-dev.

The discussion probably reached that point a long time ago, but not
for that reason!

Note that costs to individual companies are easily quantified;
costs to "the web as a whole" are not, and are all but purely
speculative.  Few businesses gamble so wildly that they'll try
to optimize for something that intangible.

>	  The point is simply that
> there are other effective mechanisms designed to enforce licenses for
> information and such and that such costs don't need to be inflicted on the
> information itself.

No, the point is that it's all a set of nonlinear tradeoffs ... and
removing the option to use XSL FOs (and similar technologies) where
they are appropriate will shoot up costs elsewhere in the system
rather disproportionately.  Naturally an information consumer will
want the information provider to pay all such costs; but that's not
a practical business model.

- Dave

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