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

Re: Six issues

From: Jim Sansing <jsansing@smart.net>
Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2001 12:47:38 -0400
Message-ID: <3BC1D8AA.7A8BB8DA@smart.net>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Since this response seemed to me to be the most reasonable of all I have
read, I decided to add my comments to it.

For the record let me state that I read most of the proposal, the FAQ, 
and some of the W3C's responses to criticisms.  From this, it appears to 
me that what W3C is trying to do is prevent the use of patented 
technology in approved standards.

I personally support the royalty-free policy.  However, even if the RAND
policy is implemented, I recommend that patented technology should only 
be allowed as an optional feature of approved standards.  In other
only if there are other, non-patented ways of implementing the 
specifications should the standard be approved.  Then, the RAND 
requirement makes it possible for other companies to get access to that 
technology thru licensing if they want to, and others can ignore it 
without breaking the protocol.

> Six issues
> Date: Mon, Oct 08 2001
> From: arle lommel <arle@lisa.org>
> To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
> Message-ID: <B7E721D7.2DC6%arle@lisa.org>
> Subject: Six issues
> To: The World Wide Web Consortium and interested parties
> Re: Proposed RAND policy change
> Date: 8.October 2001 [8:45 Central time]
> Dear W3C,
> I am writing this message in the hopes that I may have some positive impact
> on the current debate over RAND licensing. In particular this response
> concerns the potential impact that the creation of standards subject to RAND
> licensing fees might have. It does not address the disclosure or revised RF
> parts of the proposal, which are not the primary issues at stake.
> I have read many of the postings on this subject here and found that many of
> them show little or no understanding of the issues involved. Between threats
> and irrelevant comments that show a lack of comprehension of the issues, it
> is somewhat difficult to distill what the relevant criticisms of the policy
> really are. This clearly makes the W3C's job harder. Nonetheless, after
> going through many of the posts it seems that opposition to the RAND
> provisions in the proposed policy is focused on six items:
> 1. For software development with no revenue model no licensing fees could be
> reasonable. For free software RAND is a contradiction in terms. RAND would
> force free software developers to either leave features out of their
> software or even cripple existing features in it.
> 2. The RAND policy violates the W3C's mandate by letting the W3C create
> standards that could stand as barriers to universal access to the Internet.
> 3. Only a few countries currently recognize software patents, meaning that
> the legal framework behind the RAND proposal is not codified in national law
> throughout most of the world. The RAND proposal would still require the
> payment of licensing fees, even though the software might be sold or
> distributed where the patents hold no validity.
> 4. Some smaller software developers feel that RAND would put them at the
> mercy of larger corporations and not free to fully implement standards.
> 5. RAND would create a climate of fear or uncertainty in which developers
> would not know if or when a company might choose to exercise patent rights
> on a standard, making planning difficult and perhaps forcing developers to
> dispense with features entirely.
> 6. If RAND goes into effect, companies might choose to not follow
> patent-encumbered W3C standards, or might choose to create alternate de
> facto standards outside the W3C. (This is commonly being referred to as a
> "fork".)
> Regards,
> Arle Lommel
> LISA (Localisation Industry Standards Association)
> -and-
> BYU Translation Research Group
Received on Monday, 8 October 2001 12:48:59 UTC

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