INTERNET-DRAFT                          Vancouver Webpages
<draft-daviel-web-copy-control-00.txt>  November 1996 (Expires June 1997)

                   Copy Control for Web Documents

Status of this Memo

    This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
    documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its
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    This memo describes a simple syntax for describing the copyright
    status of a World-Wide-Web document in a machine-readable way.
    When implemented in a Web browser it provides an unambiguous
    notification when permission must be sought to print or
    copy material obtained from the network.

1.  Introduction

    Documents on the World-Wide-Web may have varied copyright status.
    While a human-readable copyright notice is usually included in
    copyrighted documents, this is usually transparent to automated
    retrieval agents. This memo describes a simple syntax for
    defining the copyright status of a document using an HTTP
    header or HTML META tag. Agents implementing this protocol
    may refuse to print or save a tagged document, or may display
    an informational message.

2.1 Protocol

    A protocol version is defined. This memo defines version 1.0.

    Three copyright-significant actions are defined: print, save
    and quote. "Print" refers to making a hard copy of a document,
    or saving a  printer-ready version. "Save" refers
    to saving a source version of a document to non-volatile media.
    "Quote" refers to including a portion of a document in
    a new document.

    Three numeric levels are defined: 0 - disallowed,
    1 - conditionally allowed, 2 - unconditionally allowed.

Internet-Draft          Copy Control for Web Documents

    The copy-control directive consists of a list of actions
    and levels, together with a URL. The URL points to a document
    describing the copyright status in detail. Action names may
    be abbreviated to one character. The directive may be given
    as an HTTP header or as an HTML META tag. The following are
    valid directives:

    Copy-Control: version 1.0 print 2 save 2 quote 2
    Copy-Control: v 1.0 p 0 s 0 q 1 URL http://some.org/copy.html
    Copy-Control: v 1.0 p 1 s 1 q 2 u http://some.org/copy.html
    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Copy-Control" CONTENT="v 1.0 p 2 s 2 q 2">
    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Copy-Control" CONTENT="version 1.0
    print 0 save 0 quote 1 url http://some.org/nocopy.html">

2.2 Implementation

    In a user agent such as a Web browser, the copy-control
    actions would correspond to the browser actions of printing,
    saving to file, and transferring to clipboard. If the
    level defined for the requested action is zero, the
    browser should refuse to perform the action. If the level
    is one, the browser should generate a warning message.
    If the level is two, no message is generated. Where a
    message is generated, it should contain a hyperlink to
    the URL given in the directive, if any.

    Typical messages might be:
    "This document is copyright. You are not allowed to print it.
    See http://some.org/nocopy.html for details."
    "This document is copyright. You are allowed to save it
    subject to certain restrictions. See http://some.org/copy.html
    for details."
    "This document is copyright. You are allowed to quote
    portions of it subject to certain restrictions. See
    http://some.org/copy.html for details."

    The URL would normally also be included in a readable copyright

3.  Security Considerations

    Implementation of this protocol will not prevent document copying
    by persons using a non-compliant agent, and is not a substitute for
    encryption or secure transport.

4.  Author's Address

Vancouver Webpages Box 357
185-9040 Blundell Rd
Richmond BC
V6Y 1K3

Tel. (604)-377-4796
Fax. (604)-270-8285