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Re: The Once and Future Web

From: Jason Antony <s1118355@student.gu.edu.au>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 11:41:39 +1000
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>, "Daniel J. Weitzner" <djweitzner@w3.org>
Message-ID: <3BBC47B7.12223.949036@localhost>

Daniel J. Weitzner wrote:

> Rather than asking will RAND ever work, the
> policy forces us to ask, will RAND work in a particular situation or is the
> traditional (for the Web) RF model better.

I believe the wrong question is being asked here. Instead, consider these:

 -  Are software patents internationally recognised as valid?

 -  If RAND is implemented in its current state, can it be adopted by the   
    free masses?

 -  Will the HTML 3.0 fiasco occur again, except this time the corporations 
    will be the ones doing the implementations [most likely to their own    
    short-term benefit], while the free/open source community summarily     
    ignores them and W3C?

 -  What happens to W3C's relevance then?

The moment we have a standard that cannot be freely implemented, forking 
will occur. And W3C will have failed in its mission, its very reason to 

> I understand that many would like us to preclude RAND altogether.

An understatement if there was one. How many voices encouraging RAND have 
you heard so far? Can you count them on all your fingers? Of one hand?

> My believe is that though RAND is unknown and potentially disruptive 
> territory for the Web, we should not rule it out completely.

We *should* rule it out entirely. RAND has great potential to cause 
fragmentation of, and elitism on the web - the antithesis of W3C's goals. 

The W3C should strive to formulate standards that are *always* freely 
implementable, without any restriction whatsoever. Anything else is not a 
standard by definition.

The patent holders and corporate entities in concern [who I am sure helped 
co-author the document] can create their own *proprietary* implementations 
as they wish, the W3C should not endorse its seal of approval on them, for 
you will betray your own cause, and the millions of selfless souls who have 
put in their blood, sweat and tears to elevate the internet into what it is 
today - the last refuge of freedom.

Kind regards
Jason Antony
Received on Wednesday, 3 October 2001 21:42:23 UTC

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