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This developer strongly opposes "RAND" proposal

From: Cole Thompson <Cole.Thompson@kp.org>
Date: 04 Oct 2001 12:22:58 -0700
Message-Id: <"017583BBCB712825*/c=us/admd= /prmd=kp/o=notes/s=Thompson/g=Cole/"@MHS>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
As a web developer for Kaiser Permanente (www.kp.org), I view the proposal to allow fee-bound and patented technologies as web "standards" as clearly disastrous for the future development of the World Wide Web, for 2 reasons:

   - it would clearly handicap the ability of poorer organizations and poorer societies (ie, much of the Third World) to fully participate and more importantly *contribute* to the World Wide Web.  We stand now with developing countries becoming rapidly more Internet savvy, and poised to make their own unique contributions to humanity's de facto store of knowledge (the Web).   Tilting the playing field of the Web such that poorer societies are second-class contributors is not only disturbing ethically, it will ultimately make us all the poorer for it.  I am a  wealthy American citizen, but I look forward to the contributions that developers-to-be from all 200+ countries will make to the Web.  The "RAND" proposal could lock out these developers-to-be, which would be a tragic and senseless loss.
   - if the "RAND" policy toward fee-bound standards is adopted, it will almost certainly erode the W3C's leadership on matters of the World Wide Web.  All other web developers I am in contact with (about 20 here at Kaiser) have stated they will disregard W3C allowance of fee-bound standards, and look elsewhere for an "approved" list of web technologies.  Yes, we can get along without the W3C.  But it would be tragic and unnecessary for us, the development community, to have to go through a confusing and drawn-out process of creating an alternative to the W3C.  We would all be better served if the W3C continued to lead by virtue of its espousing non-proprietary, universally accessible standards.

Thank you for your attention.

Cole Thompson
Senior Web Developer
Kaiser Permanente, Oakland CA
tel: (in USA) 1-510-627-2245
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 15:46:22 UTC

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