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

Last day of comments, nothing changed

From: Daniel Phillips <phillips@bonn-fries.net>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 18:35:57 +0200
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <20011011163536Z16311-3403+240@humbolt.nl.linux.org>
OK, it's the last day to comment publicly on the W3C's proposed patent policy 
framework.  It's clear that little has been resolved.  Whatever discussion 
we've seen has been one-sided: the web public speaks, nobody answers.  (But 
thanks, Chris, for bravely attempting to defend the W3C's viewpoint, on your 
own without apparent support.)

It is clear that the W3C needs a patent policy, and it is clear what the 
primary objectives of the policy should be:

  - The first objective of the patent policy should be to codify procedures 
    that guard against the possibility, or even probability, of a working 
    group member guiding a W3C Recommendation in a direction that would 
    enable the member to profit by means of patent claims.

  - The second objective of the policy should be to identify patent claims 
    outside the auspices of working group members that would impinge on a W3C

  - The third objective of the policy should be to involve the public in 
    the process of identifying patent claims, and, should it be necessary, 
    in the processes of identifying prior art and revising a recommendation 
    as necessary to circumvent patent claims.

It is equally clear that we, the web-using public, are shouting into a vacuum.

There has been no response at all to the suggestion that the comment deadline 
should be extended again, or that the makeup of W3C patent policy working 
group should be amended to include representatives of public organizations.  
In other words, we can expect to see more of the same:  W3C policy and 
standards drafted in secret and handed down to the public for comment from on 
high.  It is an understatement to say that the W3C as an organization has 
proved to be less than responsive to the will of the public.  This is an 
untenable situation.

It is necessary now to consider what sort of organization might replace the 
W3C, and how it might be funded.  This comment by Paul Nikolich on an IEEE 
mailing list should be required reading:


It describes the funding model of the IETF and identifies the main sponsor of 
the IETF as being the Internet Society (http://www.isoc.org):

    "The Internet Society is a non-profit, non-governmental, international,
    professional membership organization. It focuses on: standards, education,
    and policy issues. Its more than 150 organization and 8,600 individual
    members in over 170 nations worldwide."

This is what we need; the W3C's consortium model has outlived its usefulness.

Received on Thursday, 11 October 2001 12:35:53 UTC

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