W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > February 2013

Re: Mailing List Patent Policy

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2013 17:37:09 -0500
Message-ID: <51118995.2050001@openlinksw.com>
To: public-webpayments@w3.org
On 2/4/13 8:51 PM, Brent Shambaugh wrote:
> Here's my take:
> Tim Berners-Lee speaks of a possible C-change (sp?) <1> with the 
> semantic web. If this change did indeed involve more people putting 
> publicly accessible data on the www in such a way that machines could 
> make sense of it and thus make it easier to correlate things, then it 
> seems possible that widespread innovation could ensue. Intellectual 
> property information, rules, regulations, etc. may be able to be 
> expressed in RDF so that a wider variety of people can participate 
> without anxiety.
> If indeed companies follow the route of embracing openness like IBM, 
> because it helps their business, then it seems possible that the 
> current view of intellectual property will increasingly be seen as 
> archaic (at least as far as I understand it). For those who are not 
> aware, IBM is one of the largest contributors to the Linux kernel.
> I think it comes down to the feasibility of opening up development 
> while still maintaining a competitive edge. For example, would it be 
> possible to set up a production line that could respond to 
> ever-changing design specifications? Could businesses do this, knowing 
> their competitors are doing it as well? I think that if the semantic 
> web gains widespread adoption, and works as envisioned, than companies 
> will have to think seriously about it. Innovation online appears to be 
> quite effective. It may be hard to compete with.
> On thing that could stifle it of course, is security fears. I do hope, 
> however, that greater communication leads to greater trust.
> <1> The Semantic Web of Data Tim Berners-Lee 
> (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeUrEh-nqtU)

An increasing number of us (including TimBL) are working on the issue of 
Web resource access and control policies. These efforts are based on 
RDF's data model.


1. http://www.w3.org/community/rww/ -- RWW community group
2. http://www.w3.org/wiki/WebID -- WebID
3. http://bit.ly/UuWZSI -- Collection of G+ posts covering social 
relationship semantics and resource access control etc..


> On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM, Kingsley Idehen 
> <kidehen@openlinksw.com <mailto:kidehen@openlinksw.com>> wrote:
>     On 2/2/13 7:22 PM, Steven Rowat wrote:
>         On 2/2/13 1:03 PM, Jeffrey Cliff wrote:
>             While I am new to this list, I think this post is dangerously
>             misguided.  If the problem is that the patent system is
>             keeping groups
>             such as this from acheiving results, then groups like this
>             one need to
>             be converted into anti-software patent, or at least
>             anti-these-particular-patent ones.
>         I'm tending to agree with Jeff.
>         I have an ancient history (circa 1990) of first getting my own
>         patent, and after that spending 3 years ghost-writing and
>         illustrating others' patents for a registered agent. My
>         experiences with the patents I worked on convinced me that the
>         system was controlled by large business and was grossly unfair
>         to independent inventors. And I don't know that this aspect
>         has gotten any better in the software age; perhaps worse.
>         The day after reading Manu's post about not having discussions
>         in recordable mediums about patents relating to this
>         open-source work I caught myself having a daydream in which I
>         applied for a patent whose claims would allow me the rights to
>         software that automates the process employed by the US Patent
>         Office. (And I think the patent system is fast approaching
>         such a reductio ad absurdum; perhaps it's already there).
>         OTOH, while as I said I do have a gut "Yeah!" with Jeff's
>         approach, it seems also that the patent problem can be filed
>         under the major problem that the USA is having with corporate
>         control of democracy at the moment. I saw a news clip with Al
>         Gore last night in which he said that essentially US democracy
>         had been 'hacked' by large business. I don't think he's the
>         first to notice this, but his phrasing catches it well for me.
>         So fighting at just the level of the patent arm of the system
>         is fighting against a higher power that has a lot of
>         ammunition. The Occupy movement is essentially fighting the
>         same battle. And to win a war like this, we have to pick
>         fights we can win.
>         Yet, finally, things are changing in ways we can't predict,
>         with social media allowing new ways of organizing ourselves.
>         Perhaps all we can do is fall back on some basics: I'd go for
>         'love your neighbour as yourself' and 'the end doesn't justify
>         the means'.
>         To me that would mean that if I felt strongly that the patent
>         system needed complete overhaul (or even abolishment), and
>         this is a mailing list developing patent-free, open-source
>         technology, then discussing all patents that might be
>         infringed by the technology would seem like a thing to be
>         encouraged, rather than avoided.
>         Needing to pretend publicly to not know about something that
>         you in fact need to discuss to do your work seems unhealthy to
>         me; and perhaps is unworkable anyway in a supposedly public
>         mailing list.
>     +1
>     Use the power of the Web to simplify the discovery of "prior art" :-)
>     Kingsley
>         Steven Rowat
>             We /should/ be posting this stuff to email groups such as
>             this - and
>             to make as recordable as possible its impacts.  Not
>             because we think
>             we can work around it, /not/ because it's unenforcable (in
>             any patent
>             case there is a probability that it may be enforced) but
>             because
>             hiding from problems [ie in this case, Apple] only allows
>             them to
>             perpetuate and grow, and implicitly grants them
>             legitimacy.  The
>             businesses that are going to fail to participate due to
>             this issue
>             will have an additional datapoint of organized groups [in
>             this case, a
>             high profile one] which have been undermined by this
>             problem, and
>             hence, more visible evidence that the problem needs
>             solving at its core.
>             Jeff Cliff
>             On 31 January 2013 14:12, Manu Sporny
>             <msporny@digitalbazaar.com <mailto:msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
>             <mailto:msporny@digitalbazaar.com
>             <mailto:msporny@digitalbazaar.com>>> wrote:
>                 On 01/31/2013 02:22 PM, Kumar McMillan wrote:
>                  >>
>             http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/31/apple-patents-crowdsourced-peer-to-peer-mobile-banking-that-could-use-itunes-to-provide-cash-on-demand/
>                  >> Can you believe this?
>                  >
>                  > As sad and depressing as this sounds, you shouldn't
>             ever post
>                 patent
>                  >  announcements to an email list that might be
>             associated with an
>                  > emerging protocol (such as what this w3c group aims
>             for). Some info
>                  > on why:
>                  >
>                  >
>             http://www.radwin.org/michael/2003/02/28/why_discussing_patents_over_email_is_bad/
>                  >
>                  > I've done it before myself :(
>                 Having authored several patents by myself and having
>             one of them
>                 granted
>                 before deciding that I never wanted to do that ever
>             again, I have
>                 mixed
>                 feelings about this.
>                 Our (Digital Bazaar's) official company policy is that
>             we don't e-mail
>                 around patents, no matter how ridiculous, they're
>             always discussed
>                 in a
>                 channel that isn't logged.
>                 I also fear that the "head-in-the-sand" approach will
>             hobble this
>                 group.
>                 We need to know about the patents that exist if we are
>             to work around
>                 them for the Royalty-Free requirement of all W3C
>             specs. The risk
>                 we run
>                 by doing that, however, is that large companies (like
>             Yahoo, Google,
>                 Mozilla, etc.) might stay away from this work for that
>             very reason. We
>                 don't want to risk that either.
>                 So, let's try this as a compromise. If you see a
>             patent that is of
>                 interest, it is up to you if you want to notify any of
>             the editors or
>                 mailing list participants OVER A NON-RECORDABLE
>             MEDIUM. Just to be
>                 clear: Twitter, G+, Skype, IRC, are all recordable
>             mediums. A
>                 phone call
>                 is best.
>                 Folks are free to ignore this advice on the mailing
>             list, but know
>                 that
>                 by doing so, you're going to push some of the
>             companies that are
>                 afraid
>                 of these sorts of damages away from participating in
>             this group
>                 (and we
>                 really, really don't want to do that).
>                 -- manu
>                 --
>                 Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+:
>             +Manu Sporny)
>                 President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
>                 blog: Aaron Swartz, PaySwarm, and Academic Journals
>             http://manu.sporny.org/2013/payswarm-journals/
>             -- 
>             GENERATION 26: The first time you see this, copy it into
>             your sig on
>             any forum and add 1 to the generation
>     -- 
>     Regards,
>     Kingsley Idehen
>     Founder & CEO
>     OpenLink Software
>     Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
>     Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
>     <http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/%7Ekidehen>
>     Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
>     Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about
>     LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen



Kingsley Idehen	
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen

Received on Tuesday, 5 February 2013 22:37:32 UTC

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