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

Re: "Standards" with licensing restrictions disasterous to free software

From: Adam Warner <lists@consulting.net.nz>
Date: 30 Sep 2001 18:09:59 +1200
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <1001830200.715.96.camel@work>
Seth Nickell wrote below in part:

---Quote---
From: <snickell@stanford.edu>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Date: 29 Sep 2001 22:18:03 -0700
Message-Id: <1001827084.2691.18.camel@null>
Subject: "Standards" with licensing restrictions disasterous to free
software

I am extremely concerned with a few probable effects of the W3C allowing
standards to be created that have licensing restrictions (e.g. you need
to obtain a license). The phrase "Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory" is
extremely dangerous and open to wide interpretation.

<snip>
---End Quote---

I just want to point out that the W3C's definition is also circular:

http://www.w3.org/TR/patent-policy/#def-RAND

---Quote---
RAND stands for "reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms. A "RAND
License" shall mean a license that:

...

5. may be conditioned on payment of reasonable, non-discriminatory
royalties or fees; 
---End Quote---

So you are right to think the phrase is "open to wide interpretation."

I am very pleased to see extremely high quality comments being made to
this list that are bringing up issues I hadn't even touched upon. It is
clear some others in the community also wish to see the W3C only
supporting royalty-free licensing like they have done in the past. If
none of your members believe this is possible then I am deeply saddened.

Let me again express my admiration for the open WWW that the W3C has
helped everyone achieve.

Regards,
Adam Warner
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 02:10:08 GMT

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