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Re: A query about RF

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 23:50:07 +0200
Message-ID: <3BC4C28F.990C2141@w3.org>
To: Jason Antony <s1118355@student.gu.edu.au>
CC: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

Jason Antony wrote:

>  <quote>
> 3.shall not be considered accepted by an implementer who manifests
> an intent not to accept the terms of the Royalty-Free License as
> offered by the licensor.
> </quote>

> My query is: what if a licensor offers its technology on the proviso
> that it cannot be used on opensource operating systems, for 
> instance? Will a port to that platform violate the license and 
> render them liable for damages?

Two separate issues. First, you missed the intent of this clause, and
second, you added a 'what if' clause which cannot apply.

To deal with the first - this clause means that the RF license only
applies to those who give an RF license as well and do not break the
terms of the RF license (which is a RAND license with zero fees). That
means that

a) anyone giving a RAND license is at a disadvantage - the RF license of
the licensor does not apply to them; they have to negotiate their
licenses (possibly involving fees) for what everyone else is getting for

b) anyone sueing the licensor for patent infringement related to the
spec in question breaks the license and thus, the RF terms no longer
apply to them.

So in other words, clause 3 is a good thing.

Second - you asked what if  a licensor offers its technology on the
that it cannot be used on opensource operating systems? Well in that
case it is neither an W3C RF license nor a W3C RAND license, but is some
other license and you should ask them. Please see the clause 6 of the
RAND license:

> 6. may not impose any further conditions or restrictions on 
    the use of any technology, intellectual property rights, 
    or other restrictions on behavior of the licensee,[...]

Then see the definition of RF license

 "shall have the same characteristics as a RAND License, except that"

Since clauses one two and three of the exceptions do not invalidate
clause 6, it applies to RF licenses as well.

Thus, it is not possible for a W3C RF or RAND license to include the
restriction that you mentioned.

Received on Wednesday, 10 October 2001 17:56:41 UTC

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