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Re: Web standards should be patent-free

From: Adam Warner <lists@consulting.net.nz>
Date: 30 Sep 2001 23:42:41 +1200
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <1001850161.710.126.camel@work>
> I couldn't believe my eyes when I read W3C considers imposing patents on
> some of the web standards. In my scientific community many people use open
> source software + Internet daily. Any patents imposed on the web standards
> will make our common tasks more difficult.
> 
> TeKa
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
>  Tomasz Kwiatkowski         Poznan Observatory, A.Mickiewicz University
>  tkastr@amu.edu.pl            http://www.astro.amu.edu.pl/Staff/Tkastr/
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Free software can co-exist with patents so long as the holders of those
patents license their technology on royalty-free and non-discriminatory
terms. For example, some free software developers have obtained patents
and licensed the technology on free software compatible terms (in order
to protect free software's right to exist within that application space.
Having clear prior art isn't always enough to stop opportunism).

Just the other day the Free Software Foundation secured a GPL-compatible
license to an "open patent" on a Linux kernel extension:

http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/rtlinux-patent.html

"FSF and FSMLabs expect to continue their cooperation to secure
availability of FSMLabs patented technology for use in GNU/Linux
systems. The FSF thanks FSMLabs for its contribution of this patent
license to the free software community, and for its longstanding support
and publication of free software under the GPL."

So I'm not asking that all web standards be patent-free. The W3C can't
ensure that. I'm just asking that the W3C only create official standards
that are royalty-free (free software/open source compatible). This is
within the power of the W3C.

Regards,
Adam
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 07:42:44 GMT

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