[x3d-public] Call to Progress on X3D V4

doug sanden highaspirations at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 14 13:03:50 PST 2016

> An MIT license is permissive -- meaning you can do just about anything with the code, including incorporating it into proprietary systems.
But not I gather changing the license to something more restrictive.
So a california startup seeking investors, and working in html/javascript which is easier to scrape and copy, will only have copyright as a barrier-to/protection-against later entrants/competitors simply copying all their hard work. So if they are going to be mixing MIT opensource with their proprietary efforts, their own work may also become MIT if mixed in the same file, for example if they modify the code. Possibly this dilution of protection is causing the annoying proliferation of 3D formats.
Hypotheses for cause of proliferation of 3D formats:
H0: desire by startup investors to enjoy upside potential of end-user switching costs and LOCKIN
H1: desire by startup investors to protect proprietary javascript efforts from MIT license pollution and the lack of BARRIERS-to-entry-and-competition that causes
Proposed solution for H1 BARRIERS: generate abstract standard suitable for proprietary/copyright implementation (as you are doing)
Proposed solution for H0 LOCKIN: offer a format mangling&proprietorization service, including legacy-to-new importer generation.

From: x3d-public <x3d-public-bounces at web3d.org> on behalf of Leonard Daly <Leonard.Daly at realism.com>
Sent: January 14, 2016 12:40 PM
To: x3d-public at web3d.org
Subject: Re: [x3d-public] Call to Progress on X3D V4

On 1/14/2016 10:54 AM, doug sanden wrote:

 Joe, If x3dom node definitions are not proprietary -if they are
 web3d.org- then why doesn't Leonard just snapshot x3dom node
 definitions and call it version 4?

X3DOM is separately licensed under MIT and GNU - making it open source.
The nodes, fields, and design of the internals is open, but not standard.

Q. what's the difference between open and standard?
Hypothesis: similar to previous web3d.org standards, it allows developers to develop competing products.
That means the execution model has been abstracted from code into a design. Much like if you were reverse engineering a product into a design in one room, then giving the design to developers in a second room, to clean out any copyright.

And perhaps that's what's uncertain - does the world need the abstracted design if it has MIT opensource?

The MIT license applies to software. The USPTO has rules that APIs cannot be copyrighted nor patented; however, there are some conflicting court rulings.

The standards document has a copyright that is owned by Web3D and ISO (in some sort of undetermined relationship). The current documents have a license that is "All Rights Reserved". That does not restrict someone from creating code using that document that implements what is in the document. It does restrict someone from copying the descriptions in the document into their code with permission.

An MIT license is permissive -- meaning you can do just about anything with the code, including incorporating it into proprietary systems.

By having the abstract structure of the scene as a standard you can derive multiple formats from it. By having encodings (formats) as standards, everyone knows how to express their idea. Including the run-time in the abstract tells people how these systems should behave and how they respond to various changes in the environment.

Having a standard essentially undercuts organizations forcing buy-in to a particular format. In general, users do not want that because it becomes harder to change. Creators do not want that because it limits their distribution. The only people who like it are those too lazy to develop something significant and/or want to control all aspects of your use of the content.

Leonard Daly

Where the abstract design might be handy is if any california investors want their startups to add /create intellectual property in the form of copyright, by re-implementing in their own code, from abstract design. Then hacking/adding their own proprietary differences. That way their own efforts aren't contaminated with MIT license code. That might give them a bit more of the proprietary protection against later competitors copying and pasting. While allowing end-users fairly familiar content format - likely an easy translation from standards-based exporters.

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Leonard Daly
3D Systems & Cloud Consultant
X3D Co-Chair on Sabbatical
President, Daly Realism - Creating the Future
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