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RAND and Free Software

From: PILCH Hartmut <phm@a2e.de>
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2001 23:45:11 +0200
Message-Id: <200108262145.f7QLjBa06535@mulix.oas.a2e.de>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Cc: patents@aful.org
What das RAND (Reasonable And Non Discriminatory) Licensing mean for
free / opensource software ?

Even if great efforts were undertaken to allow patent owners to charge
RAND fees for certain commercial uses of free software (thus making it
less than acceptable at least for free software purists), it is in
practise probably very difficult to enforce such fees in most cases when
the software is already publicly available and distribution not controlled
by anybody.

Does this mean that some W3C standards will in the future be implementable
only in proprietary software ?

I know all this is not your fault but pushed on you by patent lawyers and
their friends in public bodies and large corporations.  The patent mess
must have already put a great drain on W3C ressources, and given the 
circumstances, you seem to have made the best of it.

Yet you might consider placing a few links to patent related sites such
as

  Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe
  http://petition.eurolinux.org/

without endorsing those sites.

Maybe this can relativise some self-fulfilling prophesies found at the
beginning of your document, which say that we have to prepare for an
ever growing role of patents in the W3C.  Sometimes systems of collective
idiocy can collapse within a year, as shown in 1989.

Regards

Hartmut Pilch
Received on Sunday, 26 August 2001 17:41:22 GMT

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