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

W3C Patent Policy Framework

From: michael <michael@hell.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 03:28:50 -0400
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c1515d$3504cd00$bde7fea9@michael>
Gentlemen,

From the W3C mission statement :

"W3C, a vendor-neutral organization, promotes interoperability by designing
and promoting open (non-proprietary) computer languages and protocols that
avoid the market fragmentation of the past. This is achieved through
industry consensus and encouraging an open forum for discussion."

I know the W3C doesn't need to be reminded of it's own mission statement.
Yet with this mission in mind, I fail to see how the W3C can offer up it's
current RAND Patent Policy draft as something that is inline with what the
W3C is purporting to promote and protect.

It's my belief that a policy that invites the patenting of technologies is a
bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy. What incentive will there be for such
technologies to remain open and royalty free? What incentive is there for
Members of the W3C to work together to promote and expand technologies that
are not monetarily beneficial to them? How can such a policy do anything but
the break down the walls of a "Web of Trust" that not only the W3C, but the
web community hopes to build?

The current draft of the RAND Policy is a vauge, and leaves open the way for
fragmentation of the Web, by allowing the voices of proprietary technology,
and monetary concerns to be put ahead of those that would foster the open
and joint collaboration that created the Web, and in it's creation gave rise
to the W3C itself.

I get the feeling, based on this draft, that the W3C feels it's future
relevance is going to be based on this fundamental change in it's policy and
mission. A change which incorporates and works with patented technologies.
If this is the case, I would say this is flawed thinking. There should be no
time that the W3C feels the need to stray from it's mission of "...designing
and promoting open (non-proprietary) computer languages and protocols that
avoid the market fragmentation of the past.". The W3C should seek to be the
leading voice in this mission, and not alter this chosen course. A future
where the W3C lends it's name and voice in the promotion of patented
technologies can only be percieved as it's desire to abandon it's role of
leading the "...World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common
protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability.".

Like many others in the Web community I feel that the W3C should take a
stance against the use or adoption of any patented technology as a Web
standard, unless such patents are guaranteed to be and remain royalty-free.

Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinion in this forum.

michael paige
Received on Wednesday, 10 October 2001 03:29:52 GMT

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