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

RAND licensing

From: John Carey <jcarey@best.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 14:23:13 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <200110082123.OAA03125@shell9.ba.best.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Dear W3C Patent Policy Working Group,

I am concerned that the proposed RAND ("Reasonable and
Non-Discriminatory") Licensing Mode is essentially proprietary,
and that W3C standards developed in that Mode could harm free
distribution business models and limit academic work. There
could also be economic damage to developing nations. I believe
that all these participants are and will remain vital to the Web.

Companies will of course continue to develop proprietary protocols,
with or without the W3C. These have an important role in the economy.
However, I do not believe it is necessary, desirable, or wise for the
W3C to back such efforts. The company owning a patent is the natural
coordinator for protocols that require that patent. And the more the
W3C promotes specific business ventures, the less it will be seen as
representing broad-based consensus in the Web community.

Where W3C standards interact with proprietary software, extension
mechanisms (for example, MIME's "application/octet-stream" and
"x-..." types) can be used to soften the boundary and make clear
the proprietary nature of the interaction.

Your proposed distinction between core infrastructure and other
Web features, while helpful, is in my view too easily abused.

Therefore, I ask you to consider removing the RAND Licensing Mode
from your proposals. Thank you for your efforts in standardization.

Dr. John C. Carey
jcarey, host best.com (please replace ", host " with "@")
Received on Monday, 8 October 2001 17:23:48 UTC

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