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

Re: RAND is not bad, but we're concerned about the W3C

From: Adam Warner <lists@consulting.net.nz>
Date: 07 Oct 2001 15:41:55 +1300
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Cc: markwilson@topxml.com
Message-Id: <1002422515.2518.7.camel@work>
> From: TopXML - Mark Wilson (markwilson@topxml.com)
> Date: Sat, Oct 06 2001

Mark I'd just like to say that I enjoyed the rest of your reply and
didn't mean to sound harsh. I just don't want to see the distinction
between disclose and RAND being confused.

> What we're seeing in the responses is not actually a response to RAND, it's
> 2 thousand people standing up and saying to the W3C that it should not be
> involved in patented standards.

Well they were responsing to RAND licensing. Many of the replies say
this explicitly...

> It's not that the people responding are
> replying to the wrong question, it's that the W3C has asked the wrong
> question!  If the W3C had asked: "should we be assisting and promoting
> patented standards" then the response would have been even louder.

...but I get your point.

> The W3C may choose to push ahead with RAND and hope that we rally around the
> non-patented recommendations they make.  In fact I imagine they are hoping
> we do push the free standards and ignore the patented ones.  But let me ask
> you this, how did IE beat out Netscape?  Was it because it was a better
> browser or because it was installed and Netscape required a HUGE download
> over slow modems.  History is littered with companies doing what THEY want
> and not what WE want (dropping Java, XP licensing are two recent examples).
> 
> We could support the patent-free standards, but that doesn't mean we'll get
> a browser on our desktops which has no patents in them, or get a development
> IDE which cuts patent-free XML/XSL/SVG/CSS code.  Approval of RAND is
> therefore going to fork the web into W3C patented (and free stuff too) and
> into a complete monolithic free movement studiously free of all
> encumbrances.

Agreed. And there may be no "institution" standing up for a free Web
since historically the W3C has held this position.

> Developers are not dumb - they can see where this is going.  Fighting RAND
> is our way of telling the W3C to completely ignore all patented standards in
> any way shape or form.  The W3C now needs to be both visionary and leader.
> If they compromise, they will lose.

Thanks for your comments Mark.

Regards,
Adam
Received on Saturday, 6 October 2001 22:41:59 GMT

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