[rfc-i] ISBN and DOI

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Mon May 28 06:24:26 PDT 2012

I suggest that we don't pay ransom for codes. We should end the racket, not
perpetuate it.


1. Make up a number. Stick it on. Let other people deal with any collisions.

2. Use a UPC code, they are a superset of ISBN

3. Prefix UPC.

Numbers are free, there is an almost infinite number of them and nobody
'owns' them.

$1 is not a reasonable price for a unique identifier any more.

If you follow the history of these registries, patterns emerge. Pretty much
every registry scheme comes apart over time as the group charged with
administering them gets arrogant and turns to rent seeking or national
sovereignty issues are raised.

On Sun, May 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM, John Levine <johnl at taugh.com> wrote:

> >I'm unclear what would be the benefit of the admin overhead of an ISBN
> >per RFC.
> None, unless you want to list them in the Amazon and B&N catalogs for
> Kindle and Nook download.  (Not the worst idea in the world, actually,
> there are plenty of $0 public domain books there now.)  They're fairly
> expensive, a dollar apiece when bought in blocks of 1000, so this is
> something not even worth thinking about until the format wars resolve
> and we agree that it would be OK to distribute RFCs in e-reader
> formats.  We'd need an ISBN per RFC per format, i.e., different
> ones for Kindle, Nook, epub, and legacy printer format.
> A more interesting question is whether it would be worth assigning
> DOIs, since those are fairly widely used as online references to
> articles now.  They're also expensive.
> I'd think both of those are really up to Heather, I know she's
> aware of the issue, so we can safely drop it here.
> R's,
> John
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Website: http://hallambaker.com/
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