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Why I have not spoken personally about the patent policy issue

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 15:15:09 -0400
Message-ID: <009101c15cc0$3499dea0$0301a8c0@w3.org>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Cc: "w3mreq" <w3mreq@w3.org>
There have been several strong calls for me to break my silence in this
debate and present my personal opinion.  I would like to explain why I
haven't done that.  Of course, many people know my views on this already, as
I have ranted on various media and various times.[1]

My silence arises from the fact that I value the consensus-building process
at W3C.  I am not (contrary to what some of the pundits might suggest! ;-) a
dictator by role or nature and so prefer to wait and let the community
resolve an issue.A I often have
the problem that when I express a personal opinion it is misquoted as
representing a consensus in the Web Community or within the Consortium. This
is because there are times when after consensus is achieved, that it is my
job (formally) to announce that. (I also have the reverse problem
sometimes!)

There are also times when, passionately though I might believe something, it
is best for me not to make the argument. For example, if the community is
actually coming to a consensus on which I agree, then I wouldn't want people
to feel, afterward, that the result was rather less valid because people had
been swayed by the over-weighted opinion of the Director.

So I hope those on this list will understand.

Meanwhile, I would like to thank with all my heart those who have taken the
time to contribute to this discussion - the total amount of effort has been
enormous, demonstrating better than I could by myself what an important
issue this is considered to be.

KUTGW

Tim Berners-Lee

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[1]  http://www.w3.org/2001/10/Patents-wtw-excerpt.html
Received on Wednesday, 24 October 2001 15:12:20 GMT

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