Re: Copyright notices. Was Re: Some general questions!

Marc VanHeyningen (
Tue, 2 Aug 1994 20:27:32 +0200

Thus wrote: Karl Auerbach
> > If you need additional structure for the data you can define a standa
> > data format and assign it a MIME type (e.g., application/x-copyright)
> >
> > I mearly told you how to associate this data (in any format you desire)
> > with the document in question.
>No problem. I'll just do it my way. You will do it yours. Fred will do
>it yet another way.

That's why the registration of a MIME type (which would probably be
more of a "license" than a "copyright", but whatever) would be a
useful way to standardize it. Such a system should be generalizable,
of course; if it only works with HTTP and HTML it's not very useful.

>1. One can't put the copyright (and the ancillary copyright use
>information) into the document itself because it may not be text.

At least in the forseeable future, one will have to put the copyright
in some form into the document itself because browsers may not show
the viewer headers or links or other tags.

>2. One can't put the copyright into the link because anybody can create a link

This is dependent on how things are configured. It would be quite
trivial to design things so that not just anybody can create a link
with the relationship value of "copyright."

>3. That leaves only the wrapper that the server generates when it sends
>the document.

Where link information may be contained, among other things. This
also has the advantage of allowing non-HTML objects to have copyright
information. Of course, it should also be possible for documents fed
via FTP or other methods to employ this representation.

>4. I want the client to have the option to preview the copyright
>information before actually fetching the document, so the information needs
>to be available by the HEAD operation.

Useful. Some people may wish to dink with access authorization such
that people must POST a statement to the effect that "I have read and
agree to the terms blah blah" or other various fun legal stuff.

>5. Information that needs to be conveyed to express the copyright:
> a) owner and date
> b) terms (i.e. the license) under which the user can view and possibly
> further copy the document.
> c) fees (possibly many classes depending on the status of the user)
> d) agent for collection of the fees

And potentially other stuff, which may grow arbitrarily complex and
arbitrarily large. Do we really want big documents like the GPL or
whatever other licenses will be used being passed around in HTTP
headers? No, we just want to pass around pointers to them. Much more
efficient, as well as more general.

- Marc

<A HREF="">Marc VanHeyningen</A>