Saturday, March 15, 2008

Specifications and copyright

IMS Global Learning Consortium: Today the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) announced plans to initiate a pilot project in the distribution of interoperability specifications under a form of Creative Commons license.

There's a murky relationship between technical interoperability specifications and standard copyright. Here's an example.

Every SCORM-conformant content package needs to contain a set of W3C XML Schema documents. Since SCORM content packaging is derived from the IMS Content Packaging specification, one of these required documents is an IMS Content Packaging schema document, which contains an unambiguous IMS GLC copyright notice.

Based on this, it seems one could make a reasonable case that every SCORM-conformant content package is a derivative work, and hence an infringement of IMS' copyright.

Adopting a framework such as Creative Commons seems like a sensible way forward.

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