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

Re: Comment on the Patent Policy Framework draft

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 15:34:24 +0200
Message-ID: <3BBC6560.A3BFE27B@w3.org>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

> From: "Prosperi.T" <prosperi.t@sympatico.ca>

> I am responding on behalf of the team of 18 developers who have made a
> living and contributed to Web development for the past six years.
> We have done so in a context free of patenting fees and where wind patent
> issues arose stimulated us to become creative and find work arounds.

This is a god approach. Don't pay fees and finsd workarounds if fees are
demanded.

> There is no way a group like ours could continue to exist in the situation
> where we would have to pay patent fees to create and develop web sites and
> intranet solutions. 

Agreed.

>  We have been eager to participate in Web projects and
> fully adhere to W3C standards.  

Great.

> In the face of this new proposal we find
> ourselves astonished at the W3C group’s lack of transparency and integrity:

Clarification please - which particular group is that? 

> an apparent so will attempt to quietly integrate a new policy that would
> tremendously restrict individual developers while giving large corporations
> the ability to gradually force onto the Web community their proprietary
> technology such as Microsoft's hailstorm and .Net invasive technologies.

I'm having difficulty seening the relevance of this section to the topic
at hand, can you enlighten me?

> Until now Web development has immensely benefited both from the input of
> individual developers as well as large corporations 

Yes, definitely.

> but mostly from the
> diversity and open-mindedness of the community. 

Yes, certainly.

> A move such as this would
> steer Web development away from the decentralized, control and royalty free
> environment that it is 

Ah. So you assume that it is all royalty free so far? That is a nice
assumption, it woulb be great if everything so far was royalty free.
Unfortunately it is not, and in some countries like the USA software
patents are allowed. This makes the situation more complicated for
developers.

One aspect of the PPF is to make more explicit when some work is being
created as Royalty Free, instead of just assuming that it is royalty
free and assuming that other companies will not demand royalties.

> towards a more and more controlled (Corporation and
> government) and restrictive environment.  We believe that the integration of
> patents into the standards of the Web would in effect mark the end of
> contribution by individual developers and small developer teams and thus
> hamper the true growth and potential of the Web as a free (as in freedom of
> speech) and open (as in open to new ideas, as in open to everyone) means of
> communication.

Yes, I share your concerns about the integration of known patented
solutions into Web specifications. This is why it is very important to
be explicit about whether work is being done in a RF or RAND setting and
to ask, when specifications are being reviewed, not only for review of
their technical content but also in view of the declared patents and
their licensing terms. To make the decision up front and with posession
of the facts.

> None of us want to be refrained to usage of HTML 4.01, XHTML, XML 1.0 and we
> believe that is also true for all individual developers were small developer
> teams.  Such actions would cause great loss to Web development in
> restricting its developer base to large corporations.

Certainly. Why, are you aware of patents that relate to  HTML 4.01,
XHTML, XML 1.0?

> The explosive growth in usage and usability of Linux as server and desktop
> environments shows clearly the benefits that individual developers bring to
> the table when they do not have to pay licensing fees for developing and
> expanding the existing code base. 

Absolutely. Your arguments seem to assume that this is not self evident,
or assume that W3C is somehow trying to prevent open source, developer
comunity, etc. You are largely preaching to the converted, here.

> At this point we all experienced tremendous concerns in witnessing the W3C's
> attempt at passing discreetly such a framework. 

This may sound a bit harsh and sorry if it sounds that way but - did you
read it first? Or did you just assume what it says? As with any other
specification, careful reading is encouraged. 

Your remarks above (and some others on this thread) make it sound as if
you thing that W3C just decided to make all development patented from
now on, or something.

-- 
Chris
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 09:34:29 GMT

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