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

Patented Internet standards are wrong

From: John Hansknecht <jdh@hanstech.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 09:05:25 -0400
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <01101109052500.01356@hanstechc04>
I write to the committee as an Internet user, developer and as the Technology 
director for a school. I have reviewed the new Recommendation which allows 
for RAND licenses. I look back at the success of the Internet and I am 
concerned that the inclusion of RAND licensing for Internet Standards will 
radically change the nature of the Internet.

For example, I work at a school where funding is extremely limited. We have 
tried for the sake of our students, and for the sake of the larger community 
to actively take a role in the Internet. We take this role through the 
education that we provide our students. Now I see a future where key 
'standard' protocals may be financially beyond our reach. Our students will 
no longer have the oppertunity to learn the standards that stand behind the 
Internet, nor perhaps will we be able to provide access to all of the 
critical tools needed by an educated Internet user. If the use of the 
Internet, or key Internet tools now requires us to pay fees we may have to 
drop those parts of the Internet from our educational process.

I understand that as the uses and protocols of the Internet expand the 
process of protocol development may bump up against existing technologies, 
some of which may be patented. But I am believe that it is in the best 
interest of the Internet and the W3C to avoid taking the easy road of 
adopting patented technologies over the perhaps more difficult road of 
developing new tools that meet the needs of the Internet community while 
avoiding any possiblity that the cost of use for some protocols will deny 
access to all users.

Sincerely,

John Hansknecht
Received on Thursday, 11 October 2001 09:06:01 GMT

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