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

Patents have no place in web standards

From: Joe Chellman <joe@chellman.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 00:29:43 -0700
Message-Id: <a05100304b7e0678b5868@[]>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
I'm distressed reading about the W3C patent policy.  Those of us in 
the web community who have wholeheartedly adopted the W3C's standards 
in our work feel rather betrayed that an organization we believe in 
is going to start helping its members patent the building blocks of 
the web.

No one should be given the opportunity to enforce a patent on W3C 
standards, the building blocks of the web.  The working draft of the 
patent policy acknowledges that low-level standards should be RF, but 
the boundary between what should certainly be royalty-free and what 
should available RAND is not clear and probably never will be. 
That's the most dangerous part.  It seems too easy for that boundary 
to be obscured to a member's clear advantage, to the disadvantage of 
the rest of the web.  What seems "reasonable and non-discriminatory" 
to a select few can be very costly for the rest.

To save us all from that danger, the W3C must not get involved in the 
business of protecting companies' patents.  The members should be 
encouraged to continue participation in the committees that develop 
the standards, continue to develop the tools we all use to implement 
the standards, but the W3C should not get involved in patents.

There are more than enough ways for large companies to make money 
from the web.  If a member of a committee spends money researching a 
standard, they stand to be in a superior position to develop the best 
tool to implement that standard than other developers.  Let that be 
the W3C's message to companies wanting to patent standards.


Joe Chellman    e: joe@chellman.org
                 w: http://www.chellman.org/
                 f: 419/730.6768
Received on Wednesday, 3 October 2001 03:28:18 UTC

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