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Subject: TechEncyclopedia Permissions Update


I have contacted the TechEncyclopedia parent group about permission to 
use their definitions for the XMLvoc work.

They replied at first with the standards permission information, which 
requires a licensing fee for each term. I responded that we had no 
budget for licensing the terms and suggested that I would ask the group 
what sort of acknowledgement would be agreeable if we could use their 
terms. A further reply suggested that I contact them by phone to discuss 
how we could proceed on the permissions question. I am supposed to call 
them after I get back to Atlanta, probably on Monday of next week.

A couple of issues come to mind:

1. Use as written: I am fairly certain that if we can reach agreement on 
permission to use their terms, they will want us to use them exactly as 
written. No editorial shaping or snipping. I don't know that I will have 
the time to grab all the definitions that they have that are relevant to 
our current term list before Monday, nor would anyone else have time to 
digest the informationi in terms of whether those definitions are 
acceptable for all those terms. Otherwise we could wrap this work up 
real soon now! ;-)

I don't see the permissions as compelling us to use any particular 
definition but be aware that if we use their definitions, we will no 
doubt be required to use it as written. Is that a problem for anyone?

2. What sort of acknowledgement? What sort of acknowledgement of 
TechEncyclopedia as the source would be appropriate and agreeable to the 
group? I suspect this will play a role in terms of whether we get to use 
the terms without paying a licensing fee. Since they won't be on every 
term, perhaps a resourceRef back to TechEncyclopedia? What if they 
change the defintion? Pointer just back to their homepage?

The permissions would be in favor of the XMLvoc TC and more specifically 
for the PSIs that it is developing.

I should have fairly regular email access through Saturday and will be 
returning to the Atlanta area on Sunday, so will be online late Sunday 
as well.

Even if we don't reach agreement with TechEncyclopedia, I don't see any 
reason why we can't look at their definitions along with those of others 
in terms of crafting our own definitions.

While I recognize that going to a known source is a good thing, I am not 
altogether certain about agreeing to use definitions verbatim, which may 
not be entirely sufficient for our purposes. On the other hand, while I 
may disagree with a dictionary definition, it is often the case that 
editors of a dictionary have a greater awareness of current usage, which 
may not be "correct" in my opinion. Question then is do we create a 
"correct" definition or go with one that may be more broadly recognized?

I am willing to pursue the contact in hopes that if the group decides it 
wants to use at least some of the definitions verbatim that we can do so 
without any licensing fees.

Thoughts, comments?


Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model

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