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

RAND: What is reasonable?

From: John McDermott <jjm@jkintl.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 15:28:50 -0600
Message-ID: <3BBA3192.740B2BF2@jkintl.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
I run a small business.  Resonable costs for me are much lower than
those for, say, Microsoft.  I base my business on Open Source and open
standards -- it is the only way I can compete.

What if a company comes to W3c and says "I have a great technology for
the web.  It will revolutionize everything. Anyone can use it if they
pay us the reasonable fee of USD5000/server." It might be a boon to
those who have IT budgets of millions, but the many small businesses
would be left out in the cold.  Free and open standards have been the
foundation of web services. 

There are expensive products and there are free products.  People should
be allowed to charge for software, if they wish.  Developers should be
allowed to give it away, too, without having to pay to use standardized
protocols.  Yes, free software is competition to large businesses. 
Surely they want to eliminate free software and their small competitors,
but they should compete on quality of product and features of that
product; not by convincing standards bodies to make all users pay them
to use a protocol.  We have already seen legislation in the US make it
harder to compete with free software: we do not need this on the *World
Wide* Web. The web should remain as free a market as possible.

It seems to me that RAND is a way for large companies to dominate the
web at the expense of small business.  Open standards help equalize the
playing field.

John McDermott, Writer and Consultant
J-K International, Ltd.
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 18:24:13 UTC

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