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Comments on the proposed change in patent policy

From: Eric Runquist <ERunquist@pyrasol.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 14:19:00 -0400
Message-ID: <004601c14aa5$8bc8b390$bd216a41@pyrasol.com>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
After having read the proposed patent policy changes updated on
August 10, 2001, I have several concerns I would like to express.

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What are "reasonable" fee limits?

How do these limits apply to first world countries vs.
third world countries with basically no ability to pay fees?

What effect will this have on the development of Open Source
and Free Software implementations of these recommendations?
Again, many of these projects have essentially no ability
to pay fees.

For many groups, requiring the payment of fees just to meet
the W3C's recommendations will prevent those groups from implementing
the recommendations. Why would the W3C allow this?

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What motivated the shift to allowing license fees?

Does the introduction of licensing fees into standards on
which the WORLD-WIDE-web runs basically let a company buy
the building blocks used by the entire web-using planet?
Seems like an excellent way for a wealthy company to get a
whole lot wealthier. Not that large corporations behave like
that or anything.

In the past, by not allowing fee-based intellectual property
usage in the W3C's recommendations you have kept the playing
field open, and placed hurdles in the way of the monopolistic
tendencies of corporations. If these corporations are now
allowed to get their cash flow funnels inserted into the W3C
recommendations, software monopolies on the web are inevitable.

The policy doesn't really explain the need for allowing fees.
It makes vague statements like "Where that [RF] is not possible...",
and "...patent processes will increasingly affect the Web."
Indeed, patents will increasingly affect the web, however
affecting it for the better or for the worse is the question.
It would seem the W3C has decided to guarantee that software
patents negatively impact the world-wide-web. Why?

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Why would the rest of us want this change?

Is there any advantage of this fee arrangement for the
average person? Is that even worth considering? Or, does the
W3C exist solely to make money for its members and
collaborators?

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I thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Eric Runquist 
Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 14:18:30 GMT

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