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

Patent Policy (Read: RAND)

From: Troy Muller <tmuller@reanimality.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 09:47:53 -0700
Message-ID: <3BB9EFB9.90500@reanimality.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Dear Sir(s),

W3C quoted: "W3C defines the Web as the universe of network-accessible 
information.  One of W3C's primary goals is to make these benefits 
available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network 
infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or 
physical or mental ability."

This statement alone should be enough to convince your self that the 
RAND policy is the wrong thing to do.  In accepting patent holder rights 
into your "Recommendation" track, you are effectively removing your 
ability to "make these benefits available to all people".   Patent 
holders do NOT have to give patents.  They can give patents on an 
individual basis if deemed necessary.  This is where you loose the 
ability to make this available to all.

W3C quoted: "Decentralization is without a doubt the newest principle 
and most difficult to apply. To allow the Web to "scale" to worldwide 
proportions while resisting errors and breakdowns, the architecture 
(like the Internet) must limit or eliminate dependencies on central 

In accepting patent holder rights into your "Recommendation" track, you 
are creating a central registry of where individuals HAVE to go to be 
allowed to use a technology.  Individual patent holder most of the time 
have limited resources to fight this, but corporations seem to find a 
way to have LOTS of money to uphold their patents.  I foresee that if 
corporate or individual patent are allowed in the "Recommendation" 
track, that it will be the death of W3C, as we know it and major 
fragmentation will start to exist on the web.  W3C has been the body 
that has governed the web for many years and look how it has grown.  Now 
imagine if ALL of the standards would have been created by individual 
companies, where would we be today?

W3C quoted:  "The Web has become phenomenon so important (in scope and 
investment), that no single organization can or should have control over 
its future."

In accepting patents into your "Recommendation" track, you have did just 
that, given ONE and ONLY one organization complete control over the 
future of the web.  I find it hard to believe that this organization 
would go that direction.  I find it very convenient that those in favor 
of this proposal are also the ones that would benefit most from it 
(READ: corporations and patent holders).  Where does this leave the 
masses?  Out in the cold, having to pay to use a previously free 

Finally, if I haven't already indicated this, I'm OPPOSED to the RAND 
policy.  Strike it down; don't limit the web of the future.


Troy Muller
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 12:48:08 UTC

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