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: Jason Antony <jemvai777@yahoo.com.au>
Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 12:36:40 +1000 (EST)
Message-ID: <20011006023640.27192.qmail@web11401.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org, Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>

Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org> wrote: 
> Daniel Phillips wrote:
> > 
> > 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.

What is your justification for including a beta standard [RAND] in a
finalised one [SVG]?

> >  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.

You are right in requiring patent holders to list known patent claims. But
the next course of action should have been getting them to provide
implementations on RF terms, not offer them the RAND alternative, which
would've been the obvious choice from any short-sighted perspective.

This is why the 'pointless delay' could've ensured that SVG was a standard
with no encumbrances, as it should've been. 

> >  Having jumped the gun, you created the
> > impression of surreptitious intent.
> Only to minds that wish to think that way.

Judging by the overwhelming number of posters who have made that clear, I'd
comfortably conclude most minds *do* think that way, don't you agree? Or is
this list merely a joke, deceiving the public into thinking they're making
a difference, only for the W3C to laugh them off and summarily dismiss?

> > 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.

Really? Do I have to quote W3C's goals all over again? Explain how would
they be achieved if any roadblock is laid in the implementation and
adoption of a standard?

> > 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.

Absolutely. And then the W3C should make it a non-negotiable requirement
that WG members should never use patented tech unless they're willing to
offer an implementation with no restrictions whatsoever.

> 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.

To deal with patents, W3C must enforce the condition that all WG members
must agree to provide patented tech on an unrestricted basis, or not at
all. This is what the web community wants of you.

Nor are we demonising anyone. If you peruse the list archive, you'll find
the majority of mails have pointed out valid criticisms of the RAND
proposal, and the pitfalls of taking this route.

> >  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.

It's NOT about making a better story.

It's NOT about W3C forcing its WG members to use RAND.

It IS about patent holders preferring to offer their tech on RAND than RF.

It IS about the dubious validity of software patents, and that they have no
place in open, global standards.

It IS about free/open source developers unable to implement these
technologies due to their restrictions on use, or royalties.

It IS about the consequent fragmentation of the web.

It IS about the W3C commiting an act that is in direct contradiction with
its goals.

It IS about the W3C being ignored by the web community, losing power to a
truly open alternative organisation, and withering into oblivion.

Jason Antony

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Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 22:36:41 UTC

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