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World Wide Web Consortium Patent Policy (RAND)

From: G.M. von Hippel <G.M.VonHippel@damtp.cam.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 11:09:00 +0100 (BST)
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1011005103952.9283A-100000@hart.amtp.cam.ac.uk>

To the
World Wide Web Consortium
Patent Policy Working Group

Dear W3C Patent Policy Working Group,

I'm concerned about the recent Patent Policy Framework draft, which would
allow W3C members to charge royalty fees for technologies included in web

In particular, I object to the inclusion of the RAND licensing option in
the proposed policy. I believe that the exclusive use of a royalty-free
licensing model is the only way to maintain a vibrant and inclusive
Internet community, and that RAND licensing would always necessarily
exclude some would-be implementors, especially from the open-source
community, which has played such an important role in making the Web what
it is now (with so many web servers running Apache under Linux).

I genuinely believe that all public standards should be royalty-free,
because charging licensing fees for implementation of a de facto mandatory
feature of a means of communication would only serve to create monopolies
and exclude large parts of the community from the benefits offered by new

The W3C has done great work in the past by providing open-source reference
implementations and promoting a wide variety of interoperable
implementations of its open standards. The W3C can best continue its work
of "leading the Web to its full potential" by continuing this tradition,
and saying a clear "No!" to RAND licensing.

Yours sincerely,

                 Georg M. von Hippel

Georg M. von Hippel <G.M.VonHippel@damtp.cam.ac.uk>
The opinions expressed above are mine and not those of the University of
Cambridge or any other body, organization or corporation.
Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 06:09:02 UTC

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