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Comment on proposed patent policy

From: Andrew Bennetts <andrew@puzzling.org>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 20:03:46 +1000
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20010930200346.A3220@frobozz.local>
I have just read the article at
http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2001-09-30-001-20-NW-CY and
would like to voice my opinion on the issue.  

Standards should remain free to use.  Requiring royalties or similar
fees undermines the value of a standard -- it adds a significant doubt
in the mind of a developer (whether or not they are commercial) about
the viability of the standard, and so would promote free standards that
would compete with standards that require payment.  This seems to me to
be detrimental to the purpose of W3C.

I am also greatly concerned about the potential for removing the "level
playing field" that is provided by free standards.  Free standards do
not discriminate against any vendor, developer or user.  Royalties would
change that.  It is of great concern to me that such a scheme could
potentially bar "open source" developers from supporting such standards,
isolating them from the rest of the computing world and causing needless
interoperability issues.  

Please reconsider this policy, and reject it.  It is not in the best
interests of the W3C, or of the World Wide Web to adopt this policy.
Please examine this policy with respect to the goals stated at
http://www.w3.org/Consortium/ and do the right thing by the internet
community.  This policy will harm all three of W3C's goals as stated on
that page: Universal Access, Semantic Web, and Web of Trust.

Thank you for your time.  If this is not the appropriate place to voice
my opinion, please let me know what is.


Andrew Bennetts
User of, and developer for, the World Wide Web.
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 06:14:38 UTC

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