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

Re: SVG ad inf.

From: Theo de Raadt <deraadt@cvs.openbsd.org>
Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2001 18:30:27 -0600
Message-Id: <200110070030.f970URl06603@cvs.openbsd.org>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Chris proposes (but at the same time does question what he is saying):

> Company Y declares US patent 123456789 applies to section 3.19.2 of
> FooML and will license this for 20,000 US dollars per software product
> and 10 US dollars per copy of software distributed, unless the software
> has an Open Source license in which case all fees are waived.

Great!  This is exactly what Microsoft would like.

This prevents some small vendor from taking Apache -- a BSD-licensed
piece of software which you hope will in the future contain some W3C
standards which have RAND patents in them -- making some changes, and
reselling this as a product.  Now, the minute they sell this
apache-based code, the patent suddenly "wakes up", and now they have
to pay Microsoft (or some other vendor) a cut.

That just isn't freedom.

In the BSD world, we believe in making available trap-less software
which anyone can use for any purpose.  Even if they wanted to put our
operating system into baby mulching machines or cruise missiles.  We
expose no ethic except our own of transitive freedom in sharing.  We
make no demands except credit.

So W3C would be asking BSD-licensed software to contain a trap, which
actives the minute someone uses that BSD-licensed software in a
commercial way.

And what is a commercial way?

Is it sale of a product based on a BSD licenced chunk of code?
Is it running a web page using such technology which sells other stuff?
Or is it a free web page that survives by running advertising banners?

Your proposal expects that free software vendors will be willing to
implement "traps" in their software, traps which only serve patent
holders as soon as the software is used in some defined way.

If I was a big vendor with patents, your proposal would make me very

Now, your proposal also gives an opportunity whereby the patent has
to say exactly which subsection applies.  So we will end up with
the free software versions not writing code for that subsection...
and suddenly you have a split web.

And once again, this is against the W3C's charter.

You know, every day I see this farce go on, and Tim not respond, I am
astounded by the bullheaded stupid attitude that must make them not
realize that an immediate killing of this proposal is needed.

I call for W3C to change their charter.  Lies do not become you.
Received on Saturday, 6 October 2001 20:26:30 UTC

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