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

Importance of Interoperability and the effects of non RF licenses

From: <danielv@netvision.net.il>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 19:05:21 +0200
Message-Id: <200110041705.TAA03638@mailgw1.netvision.net.il>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
On RAND licensing:
From the concensus point in section 2.2:
"    *  Importance of interoperability for core infrastructure, lower
down the stack: Preservation of interoperability and global consensus on
core Web infrastructure is of critical importance. So it is especially
important that the Recommendations covering lower-layer infrastructure
be implementable on an RF basis. Recommendations addressing higher-level
services toward the application layer may have a higher tolerance for
RAND terms."
The W3C, as a standards-setting body, has no business being involved
where interoperability is not the first priority. Hosting, aiding or
coordinating any effort in which interoperability is not the first
priority undermines the focus and credibility of the W3C. As this bullet
correctly recognizes, *implementability on an RF basis is a requirement
for interoperability*. Therefore the normative section, bullet 3, must
appropriately read "commitment to RF licensing terms".

Section 2.1 refers to various trends as showing the likely impact of
patents on the Web. It is misleading because it ignores practical
context and meanings. Royalty tied or limiting licenses encourage the
creation of knowledge at the expense of it's usage. They allow financing
invention by taxing compliance. The resulting fragmentation destories
interoperation. So allowing royalty bearing licenses is in the interest
of the public only when invention is at a premium, and interoperability
is just a dream. In todays reality for the Web, ideas are abundant, and
implementations will be available at all prices (including free),
depending on what the end-user wishes to pay. Interoperability is the
bottleneck - this is why bodies that generate interoperability (like the
W3C, so far) are so critical to the speed of evolution of the web.

In this light, the trends enumerated in section 2.1 represent imported
assumptions that do not apply to the Web. The W3C must defuse their
effects to prevent damage to the Web. This will require effective policy
changes done with this goal firmly in mind.

So patents are indeed important, and this is how the W3C should react to
them -
Yes, require appropriate patent disclosure from every member body, and
specific statements from those participants in working groups, with
proper and effective penalties for misleading the public.

No, do not encourage the members to turn the W3C's process into a
factory of toll-roads. Do not allow the creation of WG under any
licensing mode other RF, and make the definition of Essential Claims
sharp enough that Recommendations do not become ways to require by
implication the use of non-RF technology.

Daniel Vainsencher
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 13:05:32 UTC

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