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

Patented standards are not standards.

From: <chris.gamble@CPBINC.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 13:06:07 -0500
Message-ID: <00CA54A79070D411A9E20090273CEF1C671A@inet1.cpbinc.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
The goal of a standard is to allow a level of conformity in a given process.
Conformity in software development is a requirement for success. W3C has met
this requirement reasonably well until now.

Much of the progress in software development is being done by the open
source community. Software vendors rarely provide any real innovations. The
software venders main goal is to continue to produce a product that allows
them to minimize effort and maximize return. A logical process for any
business to follow. This however prevents businesses from developing the
future. Open source developers generally develop software to build their
skills and experiment with technology. This experimentation is what will
lead to progress and improvement.

If the W3C allows patented software to become a part of the standards, open
source developers will not stop developing software, and they will not pay
to license the software they create. They will simply create their own
standard. This will cause a great deal of non-conformity in the software

Despite the fear and doubt that some large companies have attempted to
spread regarding open source software, open source is gaining in popularity.
More developers are generating products for open source, and more businesses
are using open source. So in the end, is it not open source that will fade
away as patented software becomes the standard. It is the standards that
will fade away as open source developers, and the companies that use open
source software, work together to build software that everyone can use. 

The W3C must not allow patented software to become a part of any standard.
Once a standard becomes restricted in who can use it, it stops being a true
standard. Without standards, the software industry will hit more hard times.
But those standards must be standards that everyone can work with and use.
Received on Monday, 8 October 2001 14:09:10 UTC

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