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

The protection is needed, the patents are not

From: Les Barstow <lbarstow@vr1.com>
Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 15:16:34 -0600
Message-ID: <3BBB8032.2FBB1431@vr1.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
I think some parts of the W3C realized a problem when confronted with
the P3P process.  However, the reaction is not the one that I'd wish.

Given the recent trends in lawmaking (SSSSCA, DMCA, UCITA), allowing
patents to enter into Web standards will lead to the schism many here
fear.  Open Standards and Open Source have been and continue to be the
backbone of the Web architecture, and are increasingly also a method of
Web access.  Patent holders could refuse a license grant to Open Source
players based on the method of distribution of Open Source.  They could
also use the DMCA and other laws to restrict the development of similar
protocols which would compete with their product.

The W3C needs to take the lead given by the AES (Advanced Encryption
Standard) team and ensure that all patents related to standards approved
by the W3C are licensed in perpetuity for free as a condition of
acceptance as a standard.  Additionally, such licenses should not be
limited to Web access - a license which does not apply once content is
downloaded, or which is created locally, is useless to the user.

The W3C has been working for some time to shore up the schism between
Netscape and Microsoft regarding HTML and CSS standards.  It should not
now take the opportunity to create a new schism between Open Source and
commercial offerings by accepting patented works with license costs.

Les Barstow           | e-mail: lbarstow@vr1.com
System Administrator  |
VR1, Inc.             | 
http://www.vr1.com    | Disclaimer: All your server are belong to us!
Received on Wednesday, 3 October 2001 17:16:41 UTC

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