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Re: We must fork the SVG standard (was: SVGA 1.0 uses RAND -> DO NOT ! implement it, DO NOT ! use it)

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 14:41:42 +0200
Message-ID: <3BBDAA86.30E52BC1@w3.org>
To: Daniel Phillips <phillips@bonn-fries.net>
CC: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org


Daniel Phillips wrote:
> 
> On October 4, 2001 02:00 pm, Chris Lilley wrote:
> > > Interestingly, the timing of the SVG 1.0 release seems to be closely
> > > correlated with the proposed change to W3C's patent policy currently being
> > > discussed.
> >
> > Yes. We were indeed beta testing the patent policy before it was
> > publically released.
> 
> But the fact remains that the SVG standard was formalized before the patent
> policy on which it relies was formally adopted.

Yes. Thats what 'beta testing' means.

>  You have not explained why
> the SVG standard acceptance could not have been delayed until the patent
> policy revision was completed. 

Because the delay would have been pountless and because it was better to
list known patent clzaims than to pretend that patents do not exist and
to sit there hoping. By calling for known patents to be disclosed, it
makes the legal case against any patents that WG members 'forgot' do
disclose considerably stronger.

>  Having jumped the gun, you created the
> impression of surreptitious intent.

Only to minds that wish to think that way.

> > > So, the SVG standard was formalized and includes RAND licencing
> > > arrangements even though RAND licencing was not an official W3C policy at
> > > the time.

Nor was RF an official policy at that time, which you seem to want to
gloss over. The official policy did not exist. There was no restriction
at all in place on what licensess could be asked for.

> > Right. RF is better than RAND, but RAND is better than "nothing at all"
> > which would have been the situation had we not done that.
> 
> No, you are wrong.  

> A patent-encumbered internet standard is far worse for
> the public than no standard at all. 

That is why it is important to flush out such patents and to call for
them to be disclosed upfront rather than being surprised five or ten
years later.

>  A patent-encumbered internet standard
> enshrines the right of a patent holder to charge a toll on the internet.  It
> is much better to write a new standard that is not encumbered by patents, and
> it must be the responsibility of the W3C to do exactly that.  You appear to
> be trying to evade that responsibility.

I appreciate that for those who like to think in simplistic terms, it is
much more comforting to believe that. That is why you consistently
ignore all references to RF in the PPF and instead make out that W3C is
trying to force everyone to go RAND. I appreciate that makes a better
story.

Naturally we are in fact attempting to do the opposite - to make clesar
what patent claims have been made so that the developer comunity is
aware of them and can judge their relevance, and naturally you will not
agree because you want a handy target to demonize.

-- 
Chris
Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 08:41:55 GMT

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