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Re: Summary of 15-17 October 2001 Patent Policy WG Face-to-Face meeting available

From: Daniel Phillips <phillips@bonn-fries.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 08:26:34 +0100
To: <djweitzner@w3.org>, <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E15yTIB-0000T6-00@starship.berlin>
On October 30, 2001 06:34 am, Daniel Weitzner wrote:
> The public summary of the W3C Patent Policy Working Group Face-to-Face
> meeting on 15-17 October 2001 is now available at:
> 
> 	http://www.w3.org/2001/10/ppwg-cupertino-ftf-summary.html

It is good that the working group undertook some exploration of how an 
RF-only patent policy would work, but it is a matter of great concern that 
the working group did not attempt to reach consensus on the desirability of a 
RF-only policy.

From the document:

    "The characterization of the policy as a RAND policy reflects a
    misunderstanding about the fact that the Last Call document proposed a mix
    of RAND and RF requirements."

I'm astonished than anyone could possible draw the conclusion that the public 
misunderstands the nature of the proposal.  An overwhelming majority of the 
public comments clearly expressed the wish that the W3C's patent policy 
should include no option of RAND licencing.  The will of the public is clear: 
no mix.  No RAND mixed with RF.

The public understands well that RAND licensing was to be allowed.

    "More education and explanation is needed by way of background to the
    framework."

I find the tone of this comment disturbing.  I hope it is not a hint of what 
is to come.

    "The Working Group did not reach a unanimous position on the correct role
    for RAND or RF technology choices at W3C. As explained in point 6, this   
    is one of the policy questions we intend to pose to the W3C Advisory 
    Committee, a group that contains one representative from each W3C Member 
    organization."

    "The Patent Policy Working Group now has a variety of tools which can be
    assembled together to produce a sound patent policy for the Consortium."

I hope that all the members of the working group realize that RAND licensing 
should not be of those tools, or perhaps more correctly, that if RAND 
licensing is used as a tool, it will inevitably lead to the formation of a 
competing, free web standards organization.

    "The comments we have received, many of which reflect actual beta test
    experience with implementing parts of the policy in W3C WGs, will help to
    refine these tools."

Perhaps somebody needs to be reminded that the so-called "beta test" of the 
RAND policy is widely preceived as a strategem; an attempt to slip the RAND 
policy under the door before such a policy even existed.  On the contrary, 
those are not beta tests, those are W3C recommendations that need to be 
withdrawn and revised.

I am distressed that some members of the working group still fail to 
understand the mood of the public.  I do not find the presented document at 
all reassuring.  Speaking as a member of the public, I thought we 
communicated more clearly than we apparently did.

--
Daniel
Received on Tuesday, 30 October 2001 02:26:16 GMT

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