[Crm-sig] Rights model

martin martin at ics.forth.gr
Wed Mar 1 23:36:31 EET 2017

Dear All,

I more or less agree with all of you. The rights model in the CRM is 
based on evidence from museum documentation so far. It is highly 
simplified. It is an attempt to achieve a reasonable recall where to 
look for rights holders. The temporal validity is undefined, and could 
be sought in the property, which does, as all CRM properties, not 
specify a validity time, but in principle could. If we accept that the 
"right holding" is the property, then the right itself is an expression 
of a sort of a contract. Right holders on museum objects may require 
very idiosyncratic conditions. Therefore we did not analyze the 
structure in more detail.

Modelling the legal world has not been an explicit scope of the CRM so 
far. I would not at all argue against it, but if their is enough 
interest in doing it seriously, we would need a relevant use case and 
scope to limit the effort and someone willing to work on a proper 

My opinion is, that rights and laws can be perceived as plans that are 
activated by event patterns. Event patterns are ugly to model.

There are laws regulating rights, and laws egulating laws about rights. 
There is a lot of literature about rights ontologies,
here one from my lab: 

Any serious volunteers?

Otherwise, by a change of interpretation we could assign the temporality 
to the E30 Right, and then link the contract itself to this entity. If 
that solves the relevant questions in the domains we are interested in, 
that could be a straightforward issue proposal.

All the best,


On 1/3/2017 10:34 μμ, Simon Spero wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 28, 2017 at 9:07 PM, Robert Sanderson 
> <RSanderson at getty.edu <mailto:RSanderson at getty.edu>> wrote:
>     Can I then transfer ownership of an E30 Right? No, as you transfer
>     ownership of Physical Things (E18), not of Propositional (E89),
>     Conceptual (E28), Man-Made (E71), Things (E70).
> Such a limitation would not really match the way the law thinks of 
> "Rights". "Rights" can be transferred separately from ownership of a 
> physical thing.
> For example, if you rent an apartment, the lease is a transfer of the 
> "right" to occupy the premises from the landlord to you, without 
> giving you ownership of the property.
> I do agree that treating rights as propositions is somewhat 
> problematic, as in order to be transferable, they would have in some 
> sense to be self-referential, which can be the first step on the road 
> to paradox (No offense intended to the Cretans on the list).
> If we treat 'that' as a proposition forming operator, an alienable 
> right r to reproduce a work w might be expressed as:
>     r = that[∀x.possess(x,r) → ◇reproduce(x,w)]
> [where ◇ is the deontic handwaving operator]. This formulation does 
> not express the ability to further transfer the right;  contexts can 
> make things easier to express.
> Simon
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  Dr. Martin Doerr              |  Vox:+30(2810)391625        |
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