[tei-council] IPR inherent in TEI markup

Gabriel Bodard gabriel.bodard at kcl.ac.uk
Fri Jul 15 07:38:34 EDT 2011

Probably yes, so long as we use it as-written and unmodified. If we 
start adding disclaimers and special clauses, that's when we need to be 

On 2011-07-15 12:23, Lou Burnard wrote:
> Surely these issues are dealt with by our explicit use of the GPLv2?
> On 15/07/11 12:05, Gabriel Bodard wrote:
>> Not silly at all; sadly a very real concern in this day and age.
>> A further question, which we may want to speak to a lawyer about before
>> making any such addition to the license as James suggestions: Would such
>> a disclaimer, that we do not claim IPR in a text based on it being
>> marked up in TEI, leave the way open for *someone else* to make such a
>> claim of IPR, would could later be used against someone using TEI tags?
>> I know this sounds far-fetched, but again there are unscrupulous
>> bastards out there, and I'd want to be very sure we're not giving too
>> much away with such a disclaimer.
>> G
>> On 2011-07-15 11:40, James Cummings wrote:
>>> I recently had a discussion with one of our licensing and IPR
>>> experts (who will be discussing digital copyright at our Summer
>>> School) who had some questions about TEI licensing because of an
>>> issue being looked at by our legal services.
>>> Far apart from the interesting discussion on whether adding TEI
>>> markup to a text is considered significantly interpretative to
>>> count as developing IPR, he had a question about whether use of
>>> the TEI in specific had any vested rights adhering to the
>>> Consortium.  i.e. if someone uses the TEI to mark something up
>>> does the TEI Consortium have rights in the document based on the
>>> fact that we have designed the structures that are in use.
>>> Clearly given a) that we describe the TEI as a
>>> recommendation/standard and b) that we license the Guideline as
>>> GNU GPLv2 would indicate that we don't want to express any such
>>> claim.
>>> Although I think the TEI-C claiming IPR in any TEI marked up text
>>> is ludicrous, commercial companies have certainly attempt similar
>>> claims in the past (viz MS). I'd propose that on our current page
>>> about licensing we simply include a statement to the effect that:
>>> "The TEI Consortium will not express any claim of IPR in a text
>>> solely because it is marked up in TEI."  or similar.
>>> Silly I know,
>>> -James
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Dr Gabriel BODARD
(Research Associate in Digital Epigraphy)

Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London
26-29 Drury Lane
London WC2B 5RL

Email: gabriel.bodard at kcl.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 1388
Fax: +44 (0)20 7848 2980


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