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

No software patents through the back door

From: Alexander List <alexlist@sbox.tu-graz.ac.at>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 01:04:44 +0200 (CEST)
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
cc: <internetz@vibe.at>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.33.0110050051400.8233-100000@linux.babenberg.vc-graz.ac.at>
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Dear Sirs,

I am deeply concerned about announcements that you consider a variant of
W3C standards which are subject to patent royalties.

Currently, software patents are illegal in Europe, and according to
several studies, they are detrimental to the development of good quality
software.

Please consider this paper http://www.researchoninnovation.org/online.htm
on "Sequential Innovation, Patents and Imitation" by the MIT.

Please also consider that a lot of software on the 'Net was and is
actively developed by individuals and small companies, who can neither
afford patent research nor (beware...) defend against a patent
infringement lawsuit by some BIG company with an army of lawyers.

Patented standards would also jeopardize the very successful Open Source
(tm) software development model, on which e.g. the Apache web server and
several other core elements of the Internet are based on.

If you decide to implement your patent policy, this may lead to anti-W3C
movements, and to people actively ignoring W3C standards. This can only be
in the interest of some very BIG software vendors, who successfully
jeopardized open standards in the past.

If you, the W3C, do not want to be obsolete in the very near future,
please send this patent policy proposal where it belongs: to the "round"
file below your desk...

Yours, sincerely

Alexander List
WWW user since 1992

- --
People often think of research as a form of development -- that it's
about doing exactly what you planned, doing it on time, and doing it
with resources that you said you'd use.  But if you're going to do
that, you have to know what you are doing, and if you know what you
are doing, it isn't really research."
             --Dave Liddle, The New Yorker, Feb. 23/Mar.2, 1998, p84

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Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 19:05:13 GMT

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