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Concerned about patent policy

From: Bradley M. Kuhn <bkuhn@fsf.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 16:19:21 -0400
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20011010161921.C10396@ebb.org>

Dear W3C Patent Policy Working Group:

I am concerned about your Patent Policy Framework draft.  This draft could
allow some W3C members to charge royalty fees for technologies that are
included in standards for the WWW.

I write now to state my objection to the inclusion of a "reasonable and
non-discriminatory" (RAND) licensing option in the proposed policy.  It's
actually a misnomer to call such licensing options "non-discriminatory"!
Technology licensed under RAND will likely be off limits to developers of
Free Software (see http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html), because we
have no way to count or even find everyone who receives a copy of software
that we write.  It discriminates against those who wish to implement your
RAND-controlled standards in Free Software.

I am happy that the W3C has been friendly to Free Software developers in
the past---even releasing some Free Software reference implementations for
us to use.  Please continue this tradition with patent licensing, by
revising your draft to require that all patents held on technology be
licensed in a way that grants royalty-free, world-wide, non-exclusive use
in Free Software---particularly in Free Software licensed under the GNU
General Public License (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html).


Bradley M. Kuhn
Vice President, Free Software Foundation

Bradley M. Kuhn, Vice President
Free Software Foundation     |  Phone: +1-617-542-5942
59 Temple Place, Suite 330   |  Fax:   +1-617-542-2652
Boston, MA 02111-1307  USA   |  Web:   http://www.gnu.org

Received on Thursday, 11 October 2001 07:29:06 UTC

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