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dangerous proposal

From: Peter Lin <woolfel@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 07:33:59 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <20011002143359.18859.qmail@web20007.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

Having read through the document a couple times, on
the surface it would appear like a good idea. All of
the points mentioned on patent policy page are valid
and important, but I am not sure RAND is a good

From a business perspective, the proposal is
financially viable, but from a technical level, it may
create more problems than it solves. I am an engineer
by profession and feel RAND would hinder and degrade
the quality of public standards. My reasons are the

1. Creating standards for licensing has a tendency to
split technology into pieces for the sake of
increasing revenues. The focus will shift from making
a generalized standard, which address many engineering
challenges, to standards that solve the immediate
2. The urge to create smaller more specific standards
would increase over time. As this happens, standards
become less useful as multiple standards will over lap
and create whole new problems.
3. RAND is not specific enough to address the issue of
open source software. Lone programmers with a passion
for creating new tools would be discouraged from
creating reference implementations because of
licensing issues. RAND should limit licensing issues
to corporations that wish to implement and sell
technology based on the standard. Open source software
should be unhindered and have the ability to implement
without the cost of licenses.
4. allowing patented technology will discourage
participation and decrease the value of peer review.
If a company owns the standard, engineers from other
companies may choose to simply extend the software,
rather than give their competitor an advantage.
5. having all W3C standards royalty free removes self
interests for the benefit of the community. This is
both necessary and critical for standards process,
because financial gain from licenses is no longer a


peter lin

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Received on Saturday, 6 October 2001 23:01:26 UTC

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