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RAND licensing is bad

From: Ted Wright <wright@grc.nasa.gov>
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 07:35:13 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Dear W3C Patent Policy Working Group:

I'm concerned about the recent Patent Policy Framework draft, which could allow W3C members to charge royalty fees for technologies included in web standards.

In particular, I object to the inclusion of a "reasonable and non-discriminatory" (RAND) licensing option in the proposed policy. In my opinion, intellectual property encumbered technology should never be used for standards. There is no such thing a "proprietary standard".

Adopting RAND licensing would adversely affect my work at NASA, and would splinter the Internet community. Open source, free software, and public domain developers (such as Federal Government developers) would often not be able to develop code under RAND terms. If the W3C does adopt RAND licensing, these groups would be forced to look elsewhere for standards. This would obviously not be in the best interest of maintaining interoperable open standards for the web.

I urge you to require a "royalty-free" licensing model in the standards you set, and to say no to RAND licensing.


Dr. Ted Wright
NASA Glenn Research Center
Cleveland Ohio 44135
Received on Tuesday, 9 October 2001 07:48:08 UTC

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