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

Free Standards are the foundation of the Internet

From: Keith T. Kyzivat <kkyzivat@cs.uml.edu>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 11:55:20 -0400 (EDT)
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.96.1011002115228.207555A-100000@saturn.cs.uml.edu>

To all W3C Committe members,

    Free standards are the foundation of the Internet.  They contributed in the
wide adoption of the internet as we see it today.  Those members that are 
from large corporations wishing to use this newly proposed RAND policy should
reconsider their stance.  Take a step back and look at the history of your
company.  I don't believe that the Internet as we see it today would exist
if it were not for the W3C only approving Royalty-Free standards.  As many
others posting commentary on this, it would destroy the fundamentals of the 
Open Source movement.  As I have noticed, the W3C usually sees Open Source 
projects leading the way to form the first implementations (proof of concept,
and initial implementations after acceptance) of W3C Standards.

I will now take quote from another poster, Russ Magee, who has some choice
paragraphs that sum up my other opinions:

        Compatibility. If a patented process is used, and organizations do 
        not wish to license said process for some reason, an incompatible 
        alternative to that process will likely arise; we already have too
        many 'standards wars' between competing organizations in the world 
        of software.

        Free Software. Despite the reassuring words 'non-discriminatory
        licensing' mentioned in the RAND policy, who is to decide what, 
        exactly, is a fair price? A fee of $5000 USD for a license to 
        an algorithm, charged to everyone who wished to use it, would 
        qualify as non-discriminatory; yet it would most certainly freeze 
        out any developer who was writing a program as Open Source/Free 
        Software. This policy could be used by certain motivated parties 
        as a means to make it effectively intractable to develop W3C 
        standard-compliant software without being backed by a large 
        corporate body. This goes against the established principles of 
        the Internet which have served all of us so well until today -- 
        that of free, open standards encouraging cross-platform 
        interoperability.



        It is my sincere hope that the W3C consider either of the 
        following:

        1) Discard the RAND clause completely, retaining the current 
           view (as I understand it to be) that all patented, for-fee 
           processes are NOT valid for consideration as W3C standards; or

[resolution #2 I do not agree with, thus it has been omitted] 


    Thank you,
    Keith Kyzivat
    Software Engineer
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 11:55:26 GMT

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