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RE: [xml-dev] standards vs. the public

From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) <clbullar@ingr.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 10:29:14 -0500
Message-ID: <2C61CCE8A870D211A523080009B94E43067498BE@HQ5>
To: Jonathan Borden <jborden@mediaone.net>, "Steven R. Newcomb" <srn@coolheads.com>
Cc: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org, xml-dev@lists.xml.org
I have a hard time understanding positions that force 
one group into domination by another and call that 
moral or public interest particularly if that position 
changes when the IP is theirs.  I shall anxiously 
await the Oracle and HP responses to working groups 
formed to standardize technologies in which they 
hold patents.  My experience is that the rules are 
changed to suit the convenience of those who make 
the rules particularly if they can rewrite the 
history just as conveniently.

Mine is the objectivist position with respect 
to that politic.  Otherwise I don't disagree with you.  
Those who claimed XML would promote balkanization 
have been proven wrong.

Still,the W3C acceptance or imprimatur may be irrelevant 
to the success of the product on the Internet.  Flash 
is a good example. The WWW user adopts this because it 
works.   Again, "running code" so the practice is 
in accordance with WWW tradition:  develop and colonize 
while exhorting benefits such as simplicity and 
ubiquity.  One is relieved of the need to embrace 
extend and extinguish and the W3C does not have 
the option to adopt what may be a superior technology.
Proprietariness may or may not require associated IPR: 
it only requires closed source but closed source does 
not prevent standardization.  It can defeat adoption.

I believe the companies will accept RF RAND as long 
as it is understood they will pursue other means to 
promote working product that does interoperate at 
the lower levels of the open standards.  This is as 
Tim says, a reasonable outcome.  I think everyone 
should understand the consequences of that to the 
content and that it will be acceptable by policy.

len

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Borden [mailto:jborden@mediaone.net]

Len


[much clipped]
>
> The issue which undergirds many of the
> arguments is cost.  Tim Bray mentions the "toll"
> to get on the Internet.  Others talk about open
> source as if it were a free goldmine for those
> that can exploit the potential (eg, RedHat).
> For the underfunded developer, open source and
> royalty free standards and specifications are a
> means to become BigCos (again, RedHat).  However,
> the cost of creating these is still real and
> in some cases, significant.   One has to ask
> if the public interest is a compelling enough
> argument to require a company that finances its
> research and receives patents to support the
> RedHats of the world.
>
> The other issue is complexity.  Complexity is
> an effective barrier to entry into a market.

I also have a hard time understanding what you are writing much of the time
but we can start with this snippet.

The issue to me is: If a company, has a patented piece of _proprietary_
technology (and I would say that one of the prerequisites of a technology
being proprietary is that it has associated IPR), and that organization
wishes to _promote_ its technology as being some sort of internet
"standard", or as being a recommended practice, then the technology should
be unencumbered. That is the _cost_ to the organization of getting rest of
the WWW community to adopt its technology.

No one is forcing anyone to relinquish their IPR, rather if one desires ones
particular technology (and realize that these little bits of software are
generally useless on their own, rather _depend_ on the Internet
infrastructure which is largely unencumbered, for their _value_) if one
desires their technology to become part of the internet standard practice,
then there are costs associated with this.

In any case, this is the tradition of the internet, so if an organization
doesn't like the rules, it is free to sell its software in a box. If the W3C
cannot understand it, it cannot be considered the organization that sets (de
facto) internet standards.
Received on Tuesday, 9 October 2001 11:29:18 GMT

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