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

A Case for Freedom

From: massey <massey@stlouis-shopper.com>
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 07:41:35 -0400
Message-ID: <3BC2E26F.40107@stlouis-shopper.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
The thought of a free and open society's ability to freely and openly 
converse is basic. Without such free and open discourse any society 
cannot for long exist. I could not imagine a world where such basic 
rights are not granted to all freely and without condition. But sadly 
the W3C can.

Patented and royalty bearing products ( standards? ) already play a 
large role in the WWW society, just look at all the defacto standards ( 
rm, flash, instant messaging .. the list goes on and on). These 
technologies have become defacto standards because people wanted them no 
'official' recognition is needed. Under the RAND scheme how many now RF 
stanards will be relicensed? Cascading Style Sheets ( a Microsoft patent 
)? , Hypertext?, XML?, RDF? Will it mean that the web will be crippled 
as in the case of crypto? Or will it be worse? Will the web cease to 
exist? Will these relicense terms harm the word proccessing industry 
(XML, RDF)? Wasn't the energing PC industry so badly encumber by this 
sort of thing at one time to the demise of some of the largest players? 
Would I be conversing in this form if Gutenberg was denied the free use 
of the alphabet or if Tim Berners-Lee decided to patent his nifty idea?

Forcing patented or royalty bearing standards by the W3C will only cause 
a fork in the WWW, the Free side and the Closed side. The WWW has grown 
to be the worldwide open society that it is because it is free and open. 
The keeper of this open society has been the W3C. The W3C has fought to 
keep the errosion of the freedom of the web not to subvert these 
freedoms. The very thought of an alignment of RAND and the W3C in the 
same discussion errodes the foundation of trust that the W3C stands 
upon. Is it now the time that the W3C changes it's missions and goals as 
set forth in it's mission statement? Will the RAND allow the errosion of 
the giant strides that have been, and will be, gained? What subversions 
will be made in the future? There are so many questions that can not be 
answered or concieved at this time regarding RAND that no responsible 
gruadian of trust could, in good conscience, consider entering into such 
an agreement.

The W3C recommendations must at all costs be kept free and open. As 
someone more eloquent than I has said - IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO FIGHT 
Received on Tuesday, 9 October 2001 08:40:51 UTC

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