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From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 15:21:05 +0200
Message-ID: <3BBC6241.590E5652@w3.org>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

> From: F J Franklin <F.J.Franklin@sheffield.ac.uk>

> I would like to thank Chris Lilley for his answers which have alleviated
> most of my concerns regarding SVG and the W3C's proposed patent policy.

Thank you. I am glad that I was able to convince you of this. I believe
that most of the PPF is a big improvement over the current situation.

> However, as an Open Source developer, I do not agree whole-heartedly with
> his statement that 'RAND is better than "nothing at all"':
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-patentpolicy-comment/2001Oct/0680.html
> > Right. RF is better than RAND, but RAND is better than "nothing at all"
> > which would have been the situation had we not done that.

I hope you agree with the general ordering, though.

Ok, so could you explain how 'nothing at all' is better? I just posted a
'what-if' regarding GIF and what would have happened had GIF been
developed at W3C and had the PPF been in place as policy. The situation
when GIF was actually developed was 'nothing at all' - no agreement from
anyone regarding any license terms, no call for any disclosure of
patents, and thus no legal repercussions for failure to disclose.

Which resulted in a bunch of open source work ceasing and some shareware
companies going out of business as the license terms eventually imposed
were not RAND or RF.

Do you agree with this analysis?

> I suspect that this difference of opinion is shared by many and is the
> cause of the outrage expressed in the community.

I am aware of the outrage. my contribution to the discussion is to try
and clarify where I can, to point out known facts and to point out areas
where I agree with PPDF and areas where I think it could be improved
(same as any other specification).

In terms of outrage, I agree that 'no news is good news' produces less
outrage, at first.  Until a submarine patent surfaces and firse off a
non-RAND, non-RF salvo. There was a similar level of outrage expressed
in December 1994, as I recall. The idea is to prevent that sort of
thing, or make it a lot less likely.

Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 09:21:06 UTC

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