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

RAND - why be different?

From: <Gil.WILLIAMSON@syntegra.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 17:14:36 +0100
Message-Id: <814234AC3E61D31196760008C7A4A138E9E367@SB-EXCHANGE-01>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Let me get this straight. Are you saying that, for a simple example, MS
comes along and develops a new tag or tag content for HTML that happens to
suit IE, then W3C incorporate it into the standard, but if Netscape want to
use the new tag they've got to pay MS or W3C?

In the past, these variant interpretations have caused havoc enough, so that
most Javascript has to have both IE & NS variants, and tables don't look or
even work the same.  Again, historically, each browser had a tendency to
eventually adopt the W3C view of the variants, so that convergence took
place to an extent, particularly if it was not backwards incompatible. What
they are proposing is that it will cost browser writers money to use new

Now, the way standards committees have operated in my experience was that a
company who felt it worthwhile to participate in the standard helped to pay
for the running costs of the committee, and sent delegates along to argue
their case and to listen to other views.  If we, as one of the contributing
companies, got lucky, the committee would standardise what the company
wanted, and, to an extent, some companies were more equal than others, as
you'd expect.  But once published, the standard was free to anyone to
implement.  The standards document, of course, was a copyrighted item, and
you had to pay for a copy of the standard, but that was it.  What's wrong
with that model?

(also at gil@amazonsystems.co.uk and 


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Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 12:19:56 UTC

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