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

Why RAND is a bad idea

From: Walter Dnes <waltdnes@waltdnes.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 01:41:38 -0400
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20011004014138.A23507@waltdnes>
  I oppose RAND.  While I disagree with with software patents in
general, I have no difficulty with free enterprise.  However, RAND
licencing in standards is *NOT* free enterprise.  It amounts to
taxation, with the standards body (in this case W3C) acting like a
government passing laws *REQUIRING* the payment of taxes.

  In the case of a company selling proprietary software, they have to
convince the potential purchaser of the business case for buying the
product.  In the case of standards, people/corporations *MUST* comply,
by definition of a standard.  This will, of course, result in
corporations pushing for the adoption of *THEIR* patented technology,
not because of technical superiority and benefit to the community as a
whole, but rather, because it will benefit that corporation's bottom

  The net effect will be, at least the appearance of, the adoption of
inferior technologies into standards at the behest of corporations
looking for fat profits.  The resulting loss in W3C's credibility will
make it that much easier for competing standards bodies to spring up and
obtain a following.  The situation will eventually resemble the circus
currently existing in boxing, where there are a whole bunch of "World
Heavyweight Championships".

Walter Dnes <waltdnes@waltdnes.org>
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 01:42:01 UTC

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