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

RAND is Orwellian doublespeak

From: Peter Lawson <peter.w.lawson@noaa.gov>
Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 08:27:44 -0700
Message-ID: <3BBC7FF0.7DAA2C59@noaa.gov>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
I am writing as a user of GNU/Linux software and and advocate of open information transfer
on the internet.  This would seem to be exactly what the W3C is suuposed to protect as it
"lead[s] the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that
promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability".

Allowing the use of patented protocols on the web essentially *requires* that all
providers of web software purchase these patents.  Given the broad variety of uses of the
web and the varied community of programmers and, in particular, the GPL which *requires*
software released under this license to be freely available, "Reasonable And
Non-Discriminatory" licensing is neither reasonable nor non-discriminatory. This fact was
surely not lost on the parties proposing this policy, leading me to the conclusion that
the RAND label was deliberately chosen to obfuscate the true nature of this proposal.

RAND is doublespeak.  The policy is restrictive and discriminatory.  To paraphrase the W3C
goal statement, this policy will "lead the World Wide Web to commercial control by
prohibiting common protocols, blocking its evolution, and ensuring limited access."

The W3C should resist this proposal with all its strength.

Peter Lawson
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 11:29:16 GMT

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