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LiveJournal Opposes RAND

From: Mark Kraft <markkraft@livejournal.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 19:39:19 -0700
Message-ID: <005801c14e10$1e9c7d60$af9b0142@home>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Greetings,

I am Mark Kraft, the business manager of LiveJournal.com. On behalf of
LiveJournal and our over 350,000 users, I want to make it very clear that we
feel RAND is intrinsically dangerous and harmful to the World Wide Web. We
view it as inherently anticompetitive -- A way for large corporations to
assert dominance over open source, open standards, and independent software
developers.

Open source and independent software developers have one thing in common --
they do not have the resources to effectively contest questionable patents,
which are often based on either clearly obvious uses or, in many cases, on
prior works created by other independent and open source software
developers. Let it be made clear -- RAND is a poison pill that we will not
swallow. If you try to shove it down our collective throats, the web will
clearly fork. Personally, I think this would be a disasterous, but
fortunately it is completely avoidable. We rely on you and your judgement to
make sure this does not happen.

We hope that you will make it clear in short order that you value the voice
of the people more than that of corporations. It is abundantly clear from
this forum which side of the issue the people are on. I would hope it won't
be necessary, but if I have to personally mobilize tens of thousands of
people to oppose RAND, I will do so without hesitation. The issue is much
larger than you think -- way too large for any consortium to decide in an
arbitrary manner.

Ultimately, the World Wide Web isn't a collection of protocols, servers,
etc. Ultimately, WE are the World Wide Web. As such, we expect you to be our
advocates... advocates of the WWW and not of businesses, whose interests are
often tangental, irrelevant, or even conflicting with those of the Web.
Please, approach the RAND decision as seriously as a doctor might approach
open heart surgery. "First of all, do no harm."

My thanks,
Mark Kraft
LiveJournal.com
Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 22:45:06 GMT

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