W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org > October 2001

Extension of comment period

From: Michael Chermside <mcherm@destiny.com>
Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2001 09:36:18 -0500
Message-ID: <3BB87F62.9000200@destiny.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Dear sirs:

I am sure you have noted the ENORMOUS influx of public comments made on 
Sunday, September 30. I am also sure that you realize the underlying 
reason: on September 30, news of the existance of this proposal and the 
opportunity for public comment were posted to Slashdot, Kuro5hin, and 
other websites. The question is how you should respond.

What this response makes abunduntly clear is that any attempts to 
publicize the opportunity for public comment were woefully inadequate. 
When well in excell of 99% of all public comment is received on a 
Sunday, the final day of the comment period it is a clear indication 
that something is wrong.

Many will speculate that you have failed... that, in fact, there was a 
secret plan to PREVENT public comment by providing a faux public comment 
opportunity which was always intended to be kept secret from the public. 
I do not believe this. I believe that the W3C DID, in fact, desire and 
intend to obtain input from the public on these issues.

Therefore, I STRONGLY urge you to take two steps. The first is to extend 
the opportunity for public comment. Not by a day or two, but by a 
substantial period... perhaps 2 weeks or a month. And immediately 
release an annoucement of the fact that this public comment period 
exists to sources such as Slashdot and Kuro5hin, as well as to news 
organizations likely to reach people who hold other opinions as well. No 
public comment opportunity can be genuine without the opportunity for 
public input -- I, for instance, would like to speak out on this issue, 
but am unwilling to do so without taking a day or two to research the 
underlying issues. And I was not aware that the policy change was even 
being considered until after the deadline had passed.

The second step that I urge you to take is to prevent similar occurances 
in the future by creating an announcement list which would be used to 
promulgate press releases telling when such public comment periods were 
available. If such a list existed, I, for instance, could subscribe, and 
would know when public comment opportunities existed, at which point I 
could speak or remain silent depending on how informed and deeply 
opinionated I was on the issue at hand, rather than depending on my 
chances of reading a particular news source on a particular Sunday.

I strongly urge you to consider these approaches -- anything less will 
only serve to undermine the appearance (and perhaps the fact) of serving 
the public interest. And I would welcome any feedback, comments, or 
comment-period-extension-announcements, to be directed to: 
<mcherm@destiny.com>.

Thank you for your attention.

-- Michael Chermside
    5715 North Ridge Ave Apt 2
    Chicago IL 60660 USA
Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 10:38:46 GMT

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