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Patent policy comment

From: Ami Ganguli <ami@nemein.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 23:09:54 +0300
Message-ID: <3BBA1F12.7050002@nemein.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

It's clear from the community response to the draft "W3C Patent Policy 
Framework Working Draft" that
we aren't ready for a policy concerning how patent-encumbered  
technology can be included in W3C
recommendations.  There first needs to be an open and frank discussion 
of _whether_ patent-encumbered
technology should be part of W3C recommendations at all.  Given the lack 
of discussion over the general
issue of software patents in web standards, this draft is premature.

"Working Group Flexibility", the final "concensus point" given in the 
draft appears the be heart
of the problem.  The authors of the draft appear to agree that 
individual working groups should
"have the flexibility to specify minimum licensing terms as part of 
their work".  This statement may be
self-evident to the authors, but it's by no means self evident to the 
Internet community as a whole.  Any
policy that takes this position as a starting point will meet heavy 
resistance.

Since the very basic principles that form the basis for this working 
draft are at best contraversial, the
appropriate response on the part of the W3C would be to withdraw the 
working draft temporarily and
begin a consultation process to determine what role patents have in 
Internet standards.  Until that question
has been answered discussion of detailed procedures is premature.

Ami Ganguli
Senior Consultant
Nemein Solutions Oy,
Helsinki, Finland
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 10:07:36 GMT

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