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(Resend) RAND at W3C would reinforce global inequity

From: Rick Jelliffe <ricko@allette.com.au>
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 19:23:22 +1000
Message-ID: <005901c15491$dec220e0$4bc8a8c0@AlletteSystems.com>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
I endorse the comments by Tim Bray[1], Lauren Wood for Softquad[2],  Prof. Amit Sahai [3], Eric Raymond for OSI[4], and Håkon Wium Lie[5].

I would particularly like to draw the WG's attention to the points eloquently made by Khuzaima A. Lakdawala[6] 

On Mr. Raymond's comment "RAND discriminates ... for entrenched monopolies and against the consumer and small businesses" I hope there is no need to point out, in today's tense international times, that national grants to commercial organizations of monopoly rights on fundamental technology serve to maintain the current international "center/periphery" split.  

We in the West should not underestimate the extent of the antipathy in non-Western countries caused by apparantly discriminatory practices of Western organizations. It is a common view that the US IPR system has spun ludicrously out-of-control, especially for patents; the W3C should avoid hitching it and the WWW's direction to RAND. (See comments by Alexander Falk[7] for more on this.)

The W3C must keep the WWW a level-playing field for "peripheral" countries. Already the W3C is failing to prevent bloated specifications which are out-of-reach for developers in peripheral countries.  The advent of RAND would not improve matters.

The W3C should not become a marketing center or revenue stream for rich Western companies.  If a company has so many patents that it cannot search them to give proper disclosure to W3C, that should be their problem, not the general public's.  The W3C patent rules would be better to enforce RF, rather than deliver windfalls to poorly organized companies.


Rick Jelliffe
C.T.O.
Topologi Pty. Ltd., Sydney, Australia

W3C I18n IG Invited Expert
Formerly W3C XML Schemas WG Member
Formerly W3C XML SIG Invited Expert
Formerly Australian national delegate, ISO JTC1/SC34
Author: The XML & SGML Cookbook
Formerly project leader "Chinese XML Now!" project, 
     Academia Sinica Computing Centre, Taiwan
China/Korea/Japan Document Processing Group Invited Expert

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-patentpolicy-comment/2001Oct/1525.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-patentpolicy-comment/2001Oct/1499.html
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-patentpolicy-comment/2001Oct/1515.html
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-patentpolicy-comment/2001Oct/1310.html
[5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-patentpolicy-comment/2001Oct/1415.html

[6] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-patentpolicy-comment/2001Oct/1092.html

[7] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-patentpolicy-comment/2001Oct/0190.html
Received on Sunday, 14 October 2001 05:16:54 GMT

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