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

Software patents

From: Thomas Zander <zander@planescape.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 22:43:16 +0200
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20011002224316.A4351@planescape.com>
As mentioned in http://www.w3.org/2001/10/patent-response, software patents have
become an issue, this has to be take into account making open standards. 
I completely agree that they are serious, and have to be considered.

It is my firm believe that software patents have NOTHING to do in a system which
is build on open standards, the two concepts are simply completely opposed to
each other. As soon as something leaves the public domain as some kind of property
of a company the risk of licensing changes or worse is to great to depend on
the technology by the whole of the community, even a minimal fee will make it 
impossible for open source developers to follow W3C standard.

The W3C proposes a standard which have to be implemented by the people who want to 
follow that standard. The first way to do this is for one party to write the code
and then open that code for everyone to see. This makes implementing the strategy
a lot easier, cheaper and more robust.
This is a common practice used all around the Internet.

When we talk about an implementation of a patented technology many parties will
fail to use or provide common implementations due to licensing costs or even 
imposibilies due to the licensing.
This is a considerate strain on the implementers, and will proof to make it 
impossible to implement this to individuals.

It is also my believe that in open standards there is no room for creating a 
concencus between companies and the community if this means that the long-term
stability of the community is endangered.

The problem with decision makers in companies is that making money is a short
term thing. And _all_ the companies I have seen are quite happy with proposing
some way to make money even if that means that the basis of the community 
will be changed.
In the Internet community the change to incorporate patents will be fatal over
a longer period of time.

The Internet exists today because of open standard, which means to many things
to put into 10 email. Adding patents into the soup of things will make it a
very sour experience for the future generations.

Bottom line; It should be completely forbidden to have any propriatairy code
or ideas in any standard the W3C creates. Period.

Don't cut off the hand that feeds you, its the Internet, not the members.

Thomas Zander                                            zander@earthling.net
The only thing worse than failure is the fear of trying something new

Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 16:46:57 UTC

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