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

Additional thoughts against RAND (short)

From: Tony Sellers <tony_sellers@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 23:04:03 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <20011012060403.95332.qmail@web13306.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
The current RAND patents-in-standards proposal (RAND)
would discourage internet communication by the blind,
the poor, users of alternative hardware, operating
systems, browsers, and hobbyists by requiring
potentially arbitrarily expensive technologies under
unpredictable licenses for access to common content.  

RAND would place an anticompetitive burden on smaller
companies, non-profit organizations, and individual
researchers and developers who have contributed to the
currently successful internet by the same mechanism
described above.  

While technology developers do have a right to attempt
to profit from their work, there is no responsibility
of a standards making body to facilitate their
attempt.  The companies who corporately or through
their employee representatives to the W3C lobby for
RAND are making profits today.  There is no need for
any standards body to move to protect their profits. 
They may choose to contribute their technologies
royalty free for consideration for standardization or
they may choose to capitalize upon them in the free
market without benefit of the W3C imprimatur.

When the world develops technology in 'internet time'
by 'thinking at the speed of light', non-patented
technologies may be developed to 'scratch the same
itch' as a patented approach did.  This is the
solution that should be enshrined in standard (if any
need be), even if it takes half the seventeen year
life of a United States patent to occur.  

The vast majority of internet technologies necessary
for communication and commerce have already been
developed.  The patents for some useful patented
technologies are currently expiring (ala RSA). 
Desirability is not sufficient to require creating
further standards.  Necessity is.  Do not let one
patented method for a desired outcome drive the
adoption of standards that ensure a revenue stream for
any group or person.  This action might taint the
public perception of the W3C and unfortunately might
do so rightfully.

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Received on Friday, 12 October 2001 02:04:05 UTC

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