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RAND Proposals

From: Alex Hogarth <alex.h@bigfoot.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 21:27:08 +0100
Message-ID: <3BC6009C.7FCE0D5@bigfoot.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
I am writing to register my concern at the proposed changes to the
patentability allowed in W3C's standards.

The internet has been an amazing success over the past few years, and an
important part of this, in my opinion, has been the fact that the
protocols and standards involved are freely useable by anybody with
access to the technology.

Am I correct in saying that the original aim of patents was as a
mechanism to stimulate innovation and allow the benefits to be shared by
all ? Look how far and how quickly the internet has developed over the
past few years. How, exactly, has innovation been lacking ?

I believe that the RAND proposals will do great damage to the future
direction of internet technologies, and with it, the reputation of the
W3C, as technical issues take a back seat to intellectual property
disputes. I am not against the concept of intellectual property as it
applies to computer programs and applications. However, I do not believe
patenting has a place in the standards and protocols which allow them to
interoperate.

Car manufacturers are free to make money by building whatever
proprietary enhancements into their cars they see fit, and charge for
their use accordingly. The same should not apply to the roads they need
to drive on.

In summary, I believe the RAND proposals should be rejected.


Yours faithfully,


Alex Hogarth
Received on Thursday, 11 October 2001 16:19:35 GMT

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