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

Proposed patent policy

From: Greg Ward <gward@python.net>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 13:02:01 -0400
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20011010130201.A2476@cthulhu.mems-exchange.org>
I am writing to express my strong opposition to the W3C proposal to
allow the use of non-royalty-free patent licenses in web standards, or
"uniform-fee-only" licenses as Richard Stallman puts it.

There are a lot of people in the world who don't realize that the
success of the Internet and the World-Wide Web are completely dependent
on open, patent-free standards such as TCP/IP and HTTP.  I am surprised
and disappointed that there are people within the W3C itself who are
unaware of how essential open standards are.

I applaud the W3C's recognition that a formal policy on use of patented
technologies in web standards is needed.  However, I urge you to
reconsider the proposals in the draft patent policy.  The W3C's patent
policy should:
  * strongly PREFER technologies that are unencumbered by any patents
  * if avoiding patented is impossible for a particular standard,
    REQUIRE that patented technologies by licensed royalty-free
    for any use related to that web standard (preferably, for
    any use whatsoever)

Software patents do *not* serve the interests of the world.  The US
Patent Office in particular is taking the patent system to places it was
never intended to go by the authors of the US constitution.  For the W3C
to capitulate to the demands of the corporations that increasingly rely
on patent litigation instead of real innovation would be a sad
development indeed.

Greg Ward - programmer-at-large                         gward@python.net
Received on Wednesday, 10 October 2001 13:02:03 UTC

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