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patents and the 3w

From: Richard Lyons <richard@the-place.net>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 11:15:39 +0100
Message-ID: <004701c14d88$14b23980$ae7479d5@coho.theplace.net>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
To W3C Patent Policy Working Group:

The recent Patent Policy Framework draft, which would allow W3C members to
charge royalty fees for technologies included in web standards presents real
cause for concern.

Your "W3C Working Draft 16 August 2001" begins

     "The sine qua non of the Web revolution is the open standards
     environment on which the Web is built and continues to grow.
     The Web's open technical standards have developed through the
     open, collaborative process created by the World Wide Web
     Consortium. "

Surely, there is little more to be said.  The DMCA may survive the
objections of those opposed to the distribution industry creating for itself
the new power to control how and where purchasers use products.  It would be
a pity for the World Wide Web to follow in that direction.  The Web should
remain a neutral pipeway that does not predicate any conditions for what
kind of data is carried over it.  The inclusion of patented technology in
its standards risks exclusion of some implementors,  even the "reasonable
and non-discriminatory" (RAND) licensing option in the proposed policy.

There is also a risk of splitting the 3W:  excluded implementors would be
tempted to provide an alternative model, which would find a ready market in
the open software community and beyond.  There is already excessive
divergence from standards, and adoption of a policy which lead to greater
divergence would negate the whole purpose of your work.

I applaud the W3C for its tradition of providing open-source reference
implementations and its work to promote 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 no to RAND licensing.  The exclusive use of a "royalty-free" (RF)
licensing model is in the best interests of the Internet community.

Yours truly,

richard Lyons
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Richard Lyons
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Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 18:48:39 GMT

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