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Comment to RAND

From: Andreas Huennebeck <ah@bruker.de>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 12:01:50 +0200 (MESZ)
Message-Id: <m15pRni-00MalcC@teddy.software.bruker.de>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Dear Sirs,

the W3C currently discusses about the idea to incorporate patented
technologies in  W3C standards, if the holder licenses the patents 
for a reasonable and non-discriminatory fee.

Well, in my opinion this is a very bad idea. The internet and the Web
blossomed because no patented standards were used, because everybody could
afford to put documents worldwide available and get documents as well
without the need to pay license fees.

The only reason for a patent lies in making money (by selling licenses)
or by preventing other parties from using the patented technology (by
refusing to sell licenses). Especially open source and free software 
would suffer from this - exactly that kind of software which created
the Internet and the Web in the first place.

Do you really think the Web would have had that great success if for
example HTML had been a patented standard? 

Until now the W3C did a good job by promoting royalty-free standards 
to support interoperability in the Web. It must stay so, because otherwise
either the success of the Web is no longer guaranteed, or any proposed
standard which is not royalty free will eventually fail to be used at all.
Think of the GIF image format patended by Unisys - due to the very late
try of Unisys to reap money from patent violaters after it became used
as kind of a standard the response was to abandon GIF and switch to other
royalty free standards like JPG or PNG. This did help neither Unisys,
which received no license fee payment, nor the rest of the Web, where
much additional work had to be done.

The W3C must reject the RAND proposal; every proposed standard must either
be not patented at all or the patent holder must grant a royalty-free
license to everybody.

Sincerely Yours
Andreas Huennebeck, professional Software-Developer, Germany
Andreas Huennebeck | email: andreas@huennebeck-online.de (KEINE WERBUNG)
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Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 06:03:48 UTC

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