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Subject: Agenda OASIS Legal XML Member Section Electronic Contracts Technical Committee Meeting from Secretary (File id: @@2560)
Minutes Teleconference August Third Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Systems Present: Daniel Greenwood Laurence L. Leff, Ph.D. Peter Meyer Since we only had three people on the conference call, we recognized that this was an informal meeting discussing the selection of a contract schema. This discussion focused on the Business Narrative Markup Language (BNML) from Elkera. It included, not necessarily in this order: Mr. Meyer was thanked for offering the XML Schema to OASIS. There was a discussion of the legal language to license. We anticipate that Mr. Greenwood would get draft language from Mr. Jamie Clark of OASIS for Mr. Meyer's consideration and possibly sharing this with his attorney. Mr. Meyer does not anticipate making any of BNML's software open source at the present time, submitting the Schema to OASIS. Mr. Meyer wants to ensure that Elkera could continue to use the schema including using it for other types of documents. This may involve us using a different name than Business Narrative Markup Language. It was pointed out that the Court Document Subcommittee of the Electronic Court Filing Committee of OASIS is restarting its efforts. One would hope that they could share the same markup for its narrative part as we would be using. That way, a law firm would have the advantage of using the same schema for both its litigation documents and the contracts that it prepared. In the last meeting, there was discussion of the looseness of the schema. To concretize this, if we decided to use BNML as our host schema, one would use item tags for what would be considered a clause in a contract and a block tag for what would be a paragraph. Assume one had a "clause" with one paragraph. In a loose schema, a human could write this as simply an item tag with text directly inside it. Similarly, if one had a "clause" with a list in it, one could put that list directly in the clause without an intermediate "block" tag. Sometimes, a contract in XML might be prepared by a tool designed specifically for this purpose. In other cases, it might be prepared in a more general XML tool such as XML Spy or an ascii-editor such as vi or Notepad. In the first case, it can be expected that the contract would be a tighter specification. In the second case, a looser form would be accepted. A tool specifically for dealing with contracts would output the XML in a tighter or "canonical" form. However, a tool expecting input prepared by a human would accept the "looser" form. However, all realized that this extension or modification of the scheme can be considered after choosing a host schema. There was a discussion of contacting representatives for the other schemas that are candidates for Host Schema. One member was anxious to proceed quickly and not let the "best" be "an enemy of the good." There was concern that the selection of a host schema could continue for "year." However, it was was charged to Laurence Leff, Ph.D. as our TC's Secretary to write these letters. He will indicate that we are about to make a decision and that there is urgency that they reply to us. Also, he will ask Microsoft about intellectual property issues and how they would handle foreign tags. These would be our extensions including blocks for written signatures and the lists of parties. Mr. Daniel Greenwood will call a meeting for August Tenth at 18:00 specifically to consider approving the Elkera BNML proposal as our host schema.