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

Further objections, and question for Janet Daly

From: Jeremy Sanders <jss@ast.cam.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 10:10:49 +0100 (BST)
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.33.0110040946330.25183-100000@xpc1.ast.cam.ac.uk>

I wrote an email earlier about my objections to the RAND policy. Now the
comment period has been extended, I wish to comment further.

The W3C seems determined to get patents into their "recommendations" no
matter what the web-using community want. Exactly how can standards with
patents aid the implementation of the standard? How can Free Software
ever comply with a standard with a patent? The words "Non-discriminatory"
are ridiculous when applied to a patent which needs a fee for its use. How
non-discriminatory is the policy towards individuals, small companies,
free software projects and poorer countries?

Janet Daly, just how are Free Software projects supposed to allow
patented material into their work? How are projects such as Mozilla and
Apache supposed to continue? These are projects which have done their best
to support W3's recommendations up to now.

Further, I now discover that the W3C has allowed patents into its
standards before the RAND policy has come into place (See

Apple's patents is one of the worst I have seen. It is a patent for a
completely trivial mathematical operation. How many computer game authors
in the 1980s would have used this operation? Masked bitmaps are not
exactly novel.

In order to continue, W3 *must not* allow patents into its standards. If
any of its members claim to have patents on the standards, then they
*must* relinquish them for the standard can be recommended.

The only other alternative is to allow Free Software _free_ access to RAND
patents. This is extremely difficult, as there are a variety of free
software licences, and the BSD licence allows incorporation into non-free


Jeremy Sanders <jss@ast.cam.ac.uk>  http://www-xray.ast.cam.ac.uk/~jss/
Pembroke College, Cambridge. UK   Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. UK
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 05:10:53 UTC

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