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

lawyers & epitaphs

From: Brian Cort <brian.cort@oceanlake.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 11:04:17 -0400
Message-ID: <0827278F0593D511803600E018C23A33077E77@POSTMAN>
To: "'www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org'" <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>

By writing specs that require licensing of company's patents the W3C is
writing their own epitaph? Who will bother with these 'standards' when the
potential costs of either lawsuits, licensing payments or both loom large on
the horizon? Who will build on these shaky foundations. Who will risk
months, years of work never knowing when the carpet may be yanked out from
under them?

As a developer, I have to add that the specs are getting harder and harder
to follow. There's a real time-investment involved in learning the new
technologies and its difficult to keep up. So why do I do it? Why do so many
people do it? Because the lure of sharing tools, techniques and ideas with a
large community is so compelling. Focus on the key word: sharing. Taking
part in the community that springs up around these specs and allows them to
become standards and more importantly, useful and used standards.

Finally, its important to note that its these communities that define the
W3C. Its these communities that legitimize it, that generate the wealth that
allow companies to take part in its (elitist) working groups, that make it
meaningful. Adding the patent provisions as they are currently written would
kill these communities and ultimately kill the W3C. I'll let the lawyers
write the actual epitaph. With all the money they'll be making, they should
be able to afford a nice tombstone.

Brian Cort
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 11:02:22 UTC

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