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

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

From: Daniel Phillips <phillips@bonn-fries.net>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 16:31:07 +0200
To: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Cc: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <20011005143108Z16630-17200+785@humbolt.nl.linux.org>
On October 5, 2001 03:43 pm, Chris Lilley wrote:
> Daniel Phillips wrote:
> > On October 4, 2001 02:00 pm, Chris Lilley wrote:
> > > > The public review period, if there ever was one, went by quietly:
> > >
> > > Please get your facts in order. The public review period of the SVG 1.0
> > > specification (from first public working draft on 11 February 1999 to
> > > end of the Proposed Recommendation period on 16 August, 2001) was *over
> > > 29 months*
> > 
> > Let me get this straight.  You claim the public review period for SVG did 
> > not go by quietly? 
> I was responding to your casual slur "if there ever was one". I wasn't
> prepared to let that particular mud be thrown without picking you up on
> it.

Please do not blame me if you created a perception that W3C operates in 
isolation from the public.

If the public really had been properly made aware of the opportunity to 
review and comment on a version of the SVG recommendation that relied on RAND 
licensing I'm sure the comment period would have been much less quiet than it 
actually was.

Note that previous version of the SVG specification does not include the word 


So, from the public's point of view, on July 19 a single line of text was 
added to the document, which included the word "patent" and linked to another 
document.  No wonder the public did not notice.

Let's examine the language that appeared in the July 19 document:

    "There are patent disclosures and license commitments associated
    with the SVG 1.0 specification. These may be found on the SVG 1.0
    Patent Statements in conformance with _W3C policy_."

The _W3C policy_ is a link to:


which does not mention RAND.  So in what way does the SVG recommendation's 
reliance on RAND licensing conform to W3C's policy as laid out in that 

> > From the list archive:
> > 
> >    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-svg/
> > 
> > we see:
> > 
> >   Total comments for August 2001: 60
> If you take the trouble to read the various stages of the SVG
> specifications (eight working drafts, two last calls, two releases of a
> candidate recommendation, one proposed recommendation) you can see there
> was abundant call for public comment and there was, in fact, also
> abundant comment which was taken into account in the technical
> development of the specification.

But it is a fact that no comment was made on the RAND policy of the SVG 
recommendation.  So I question your use of the word "abundant".  It was 
apparently not "adequate".  Or perhaps you believe that the public changed 
its mind between August and September?

> > Consider that the real introduction of the RAND policy was as part of
> > the SVG specification, 
> There is no "RAND policy". I suspect you are referring to the Patent
> policy Framework. Either way, that is a different spec to the SVG spec.
> Please be clear which specification you are actually talking about.

I am talking about the SVG recommendation.  This most certainly does contain 
references to, and relies on, RAND licensing policy.  This recommendation 
even attempts to define RAND licensing.

> > and suppose the public really had been aware that W3C
> > intended to bless SVG as a patent-encumbered standard. 
> it isn't patent encumbered.

This is an interesting claim.  So you are saying that SVG is not encumbered 
by patents?  It would be nice if this was true.  But what are those RAND 
licenses that the SVG recommendation refers to?

> > Would we not have expected to see the September 30's 726 comments 
> > submitted instead some time before August 16?
> Again, are you commenting on PPF or SVG?

I am comparing one to the other.

> There are hundereds of comments
> on PPF, yes. Many of them contain real content, which is valuable, and
> some of them are merely bluster and noise. I'm hoping you can constrain
> yourelf into the former category. 

And how many comments are there on patent questions?  How many comments in 
total were there on the last month?  Are you saying that the public did not 
have anything to say about the SVG patent issues, so did not say it?

> > We saw no such thing.  Instead, we saw the close of the comment period go 
> > by quietly, just as I said. 
> Where are the comments for the Proposed Rec for SVG sent? On what basis
> do you say that it went by quietly? You have not seen all the comments,

You mean here?


Looks pretty quiet to me, maybe two comments per day.  Are there more I don't 
know about?

> you are blustering, and it shows.

Respectfully, you are covering your ass, and it shows.

> > I submit that, far from my facts being out of
> > order, you have attempted to spin the facts in a way that suits you.
> Well I would say you were spinning the facts in a way that makes a
> simpler story for your audience, by your consistent refusal to discuss
> or acknowledge the RF parts of the PPF and by consistently using an
> nvented name for it "RAND policy" and by attempting to drag in other W3C
> specs as if they were patent policy and not technical specifications.

Don't get me wrong.  I think the RF parts are wonderful, and I want to see 
more of that.

I think the RAND parts are terrible.

Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 10:31:14 UTC

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