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

Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users

From: Federico Heinz <fheinz@vialibre.org.ar>
Date: 04 Oct 2001 15:35:22 -0300
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <1002220522.763.19.camel@michelle>
I strongly support Alan Cox's reasoning on this issue.

Patented technology has no place in standards, since the very purpose of
standards is to ensure the ability to interoperate. No matter how
non-discriminatory a license is, if it involves any kind of resource
obligation by the licensee, it is discriminating among those who can
afford the obligation and those who cannot. Non-discriminatory licensing
is an oxymoron.

This proposal caters only to the mighty patent holders. The web doesn't
need patented technology. It has done much better that proprietary
technologies precisely *because* it is not encumbered by patents.
Poisoning standards with patented items will not make the web more
powerful, it will just make it narrower. It will change from being a
level playing field to be extremely biased towards holders of patents
--- and that's a particularly terrible perspective when you consider the
fact that the US Patent Office will grant patents on photosynthesis if
you just try hard enough.

Patent-free web standards are the way to go. That's where we come from,
and it has worked wonderfully. Keep it patent-free, and it will continue
to grow and prosper.

As to the patent holders: if they want their technology to be included
in the standards badly enough, then why not grant an unlimited free
license to anybody who wants to implement it? If they don't... well,
they can still implement it outside the standards body, and see whether
users value it more than interoperability.

	Federico Heinz
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 14:32:20 GMT

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