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

I oppose the use of patented technology in w3c standards

From: Michael Crawford <crawford@sonic.net>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 15:06:14 -0800
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c160ce$4f4e1010$6502a8c0@sfo.michaeljcrawford.com>
Please do not go down this "highway to hell". The web was created for all to
use, and the introduction of patents which require royalty payments will
severely restrict the ability for future innovation - innovation such as
that which created the web and the resulting explosion of wealth for MANY
which resulted. I realize that many technologies are patented (I oppose such
patents in their current form due to their primary effect, which is to
restrict competition from start-ups, other smaller players and, in
particular, open-source development), but to accept technologies based on
such patents - without restrictions - will cause MUCH more harm than good.

If you set the rules to be similar to the rules used by GNU for their
development work, companies WILL follow them just to get their technologies
accepted as the standard, giving them a time-to-market advantage. Those
rules, simply stated, are: If you've patented a technology and want to
submit it as a standard, that patent MUST be turned over to the W3C for
royalty-free use by EVERYONE, without prejudice.

Accepting patents which require the payment of royalty rights will have a
devastating effect in the future: Take a look at China as an example - they
have already mandated the use of Linux for government use in many cases, not
only because they don't want to pay Microsoft, but also because they want to
control the technology they use. If you start down this road, countries such
as China - make that most non-US countries - are highly likely to implement
alternative versions of the technology they can freely use. This will
balkanize the web into overlapping, competing technology camps - which is



Michael Crawford
415-652-5483 C
415-567-0797 H
Received on Monday, 29 October 2001 18:05:04 UTC

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