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

Re: RAND Patents: A great thing

From: charles mcknight <chuckmcknight@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 11:05:58 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <20011001180559.32286.qmail@web11604.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org


I really wish that Microsoft would quit equating Open Source and Free Software as the antithesis of a capitalist economy. It's a really weak argument that Mr. Allchin threw out for shock value, and nobody with any common sense buys the argument. The entire statement comes across as a control issue on Mr. Allchin's part, i.e., because nobody (meaning a company) "controls" Open Source or Free Software, and the GPL forces the sharing of source code (even in proprietary software that includes it), then it must be the "cancer" that Mr. Ballmer spoke of.

I don't have a problem with Microsoft making money (I'm probably in the minority in that position), but I do have a problem with the sort of hidden patent ambush tactics I've seen practiced in the industry when proprietary technologies become "standards" that have to be licensed from a single vendor. This sort of practice has the effect of shutting out smaller competitors from having the opportunity to become successful through innovation based on public standards.

I will refrain from getting into the innovation argument, because it serves no purpose other than to mention that there is plenty of incentive for innovation without introducing proprietary standards.

In closing, I believe that Microsoft has every right to lobby for its ideals. However, I think Microsoft either needs to continue creating internal proprietary standards that only work with Microsoft systems, or get over it and play fair if they are going to be part of a standards body.  Ergo sum, RAND is bad.

Best regards,

Charles McKnight

Disclaimer -- My opinions are mine alone, and do not reflect the opinions of my employer.

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Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 14:06:00 UTC

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