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Please don't shackle the web

From: Khuzaima A. Lakdawala <klak@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in>
Date: 06 Oct 2001 15:58:51 +0530
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <868zephxjw.fsf@home.this-is-not-a-domain.in>
Respected ladies and gentlemen of the Patent Policy Working Group,

I urge you to consider the effect that the proposed new W3C patent
policy would have on implementers and developers in the economically
under-privileged countries, or the so-called "third world," as also on
the Free Software community.

The inclusion of the "reasonable and non-discriminatory" (RAND)
licensing option in the said policy can have dangerous repercussions
on the very unity of the World Wide Web and has the potential of
splitting the web, pitching North against South, commercial against
free. I implead you, ladies and gentlemen, not to embark on a path
similar to that taken by other notorious organizations such as the WTO
and the WIPO.

The very choice of the words "reasonable and non-discriminatory" is
begging for a disaster. What may be considered monetarily "reasonable"
for a commercial entity in the West, may certainly not be so for one
in the developing world or in the Free Software community, and the
"non-discriminatory" clause, by failing to differentiate between them,
will compound the disaster!

Surely, your esteemed selves must realize that the World Wide Web has
become what it has -- so wonderfully great, all important and
empowering -- primarily because it has remained mostly free of
encumbrances such as those being proposed in this new W3C patent
policy. I urge you not to take such a retrograde step and leave the
web open and royalty-free.

Yours sincerely,

Khuzaima A. Lakdawala

41/582, St. Martin road, Palarivattom,
Kochi - 682 025, Kerala,
India
Received on Saturday, 6 October 2001 06:49:17 GMT

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