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

RAND Will Discredit the W3C

From: Jon G. Booth <jon@scriptingoff.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 16:26:05 -0400
Message-ID: <000f01c14c49$a2690640$9b41499e@hcfa.gov>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
As a U.S. government employee, I always felt a strong affiliation with the
W3C's promotion of free and open standards. A couple years ago, I remember
thinking that if there were one place I would really like to work where I
could make a difference, it would be the W3C. The WWW gave all of us a free
and open platform that let me, my employer, and many other organizations and
people open up our closed information stores to the world.

Whenever content comes forward to me for posting on the web in Word or
PowerPoint or PDF formats, I have always encouraged people to convert such
materials to open web standards, like HTML, so that any user anywhere would
be able to view it without shelling out money to corporations for commercial
software packages or having to deal with binary copyrighted formats.

As I read the postings to this list and articles around the web on this
issue, I feel like I have been duped. If the RAND policy goes through, web
standards will be no better and no worse than any proprietary format. I
fully support the efforts of the open source movement to fork the web
standards process if RAND does receive the blessing of the W3C.

Something as unique and important as the WWW can not and will not be
subjected to the corporate profit-driven will of Microsoft, Apple, etc. I
hope that the W3C can see their way out of this, make the right & ethical
decisions, and retain some shred of credibility. Should they take the wrong
path, they will immediately lose their relevance.

Hoping for the best but fearing the worst,

Jon G. Booth
Received on Wednesday, 3 October 2001 16:27:04 UTC

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