Link contract

Link contract

A link contract is an approach to data control in a distributed data sharing network. Link contracts are fundamental to Dataweb technology and a key feature of the XDI (XRI Data Interchange) specifications under development at OASIS (organization).

In XDI, a link contract is a machine-readable XDI document that governs the sharing of other XDI data. Unlike a conventional Web link, which is essentially a one-dimensional "string" that "pulls" a linked document into a browser, a link contract is a two-dimensional XML document that can actively control the flow of data from a publisher to a subscriber by either "push" or "pull". The flow is controlled by the terms of the contract, which can be as flexible and extensible as real-world contracts, i.e., link contracts can govern:

* Identification: Who are the parties to the contract and what data does it cover?
* Authority: Who controls the data being shared via the contract?
* Authentication: How will each party prove its identity to the other?
* Authorization: Who has what access rights and privileges to the data?
* Privacy and usage control: What uses can be made of the data and by whom?
* Synchronization: How and when will the subscriber receive updates to the data?
* Termination: What happens when the data sharing relationship is ended?
* Recourse: How will any disputes over the contract be resolved?

Like real-world contacts, link contracts can also refer to other link contracts. Using this design, the vast majority of link contracts can be very simple, referring to a very small number of more complex link contracts that have been carefully designed to reflect the requirements of common data exchange scenarios (e.g., business cards, mailing lists, e-commerce transactions, website registrations, etc.) An [ Identity Commons] working group called [ Identity Rights Agreements] has formed to develop the first such standardized link contracts following the model of the standardized online copyright agreements developed by Creative Commons.

Using these simple, machine-readable "chains" of link contracts can provide an interoperable solution to the complex authority, privacy, synchronization, and other data control issues that exist at a higher level than the packet layer of TCP/IP or the content transport layer of HTTP. This can be a key enabler of the emergence of the Social Web, and can also provide the underpinnings for new forms of digital rights such as [ Virtual Rights] .

ee also

* Dataweb
* Social Web
* Creative Commons

External links

* [ OASIS XDI Technical Committee]
* [ OASIS XRI Technical Committee]
* [ XDI.ORG]
* [ Identity Commons Identity Rights Agreements Working Group]
* [ The Social Web: Creating An Open Social Network with XDI] in the [ Planetwork Journal] .
* [ Andy Dale's blog about XRI, XDI and Identity]

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