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

RAND Licensing

From: Tony O'Bryan <stormreaver@earthlink.net>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 09:44:27 +0000
Message-Id: <200109301441.HAA02972@hawk.mail.pas.earthlink.net>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
I am writing in regards to the appalling decision by the W3C to consider 
implementation of of RAND licensing.  By allowing corporations to impose 
non-descriminatory fees on processes that may become defacto standards on the 
web, the W3G has proposed to sign the death warrant on pervasive 
interoperability on the Web.

Licensing fees imposed on Web standards would require either a public 
commitment by the license holder to allow free software developers to use the 
patented techniques free of charge in perpetuity (apparently a violation of 
RAND), or force the Web to be turned into a new Genie or Delphi where only 
proprietary clients could access the Web's content.  Linux and  the BSDs 
would be crushed as a web access platform, as they would not be able to 
provide free client software for Web access.

It is better to not endors these proprietary technologies at all than to 
allow them to be used as clubs against the single competitor to monopoly 
domination that currently exists (Linux).

We, the Free Web, have already tasted the perils of proprietary (and not even 
officially endorsed) technologies that have gained popularity on the Web 
(Flash, Shockwave).  If such technologies were to become required Web 
standards (which would be the case if they were officially endorsed by the 
W3C), more illegal monopolies, focusing on the Web rather than the desktop, 
would be created and officially endorsed by your organization.

Don't give in to Web patents, which are, without exception, harmful to the 
development of a free society.  With the advent of the DMCA, we have already 
witnessed the horrible lengths to which certain standard owners will go in 
order to maintain their dominant positions (Dmitry Skylarov being the most 
horrendous example to date).  With official W3C endorsements of such 
activities, which will immediately follow wholesale endorsements of 
proprietary software which everyone would be compelled to buy, and the 
purchase of which would be enforced by government power (via the DMCA), the 
WWW will become a fascist paradise of which Joseph Stalin could be proud.
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 10:41:48 UTC

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