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

The issues

From: Paolo Campanella <paolo@mighty.co.za>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 10:57:10 +0200
Message-Id: <200110050859.KAA12278@northcliff9.megawan.net>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org


There seem to be 2 main issues here:

1) Should software patents be used, in a world where software patents
  are powerful?

What is effective is not always the right thing to do. Stealing is the
most effective way to get a tin of beans from the grocery store (if
you have no money). But is it the right way?

Of course, the software patents issue is more thorny than that, because
there seems to be no alternative (i.e. working to be able to buy the
beans). Or is there? Perhaps one could lobby against software patents?

To know what to do in such a case, a person would have to ask themself:
- How important is this issue to me?
- What is the strength of my ideals?

It seems that the W3C is choosing the pragmatic over the idealistic

2) Should the W3C charge money for (at least some of) its work?

Is the issue here not about getting money in, rather than being about
licencing models? There are many potential ways to generate revenue.
Your proposed way seems the most effective (the pragmatists, again),
but at what cost? The dangers are obvious - I'm sure you have received
many, many emails outlining the negative consequences. For instance,
loss of credibility, openness to corruption, or the harm to the free
software movement.

If the core issue really is the need to generate revenue, then I hope
you fully consider all the alternative ways of doing so. Your suggested
route is on the edge of a slippery slope.


Paolo Campanella
Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 04:59:09 UTC

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