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

RAND patent policy

From: Rob Ewaschuk <raewasch@student.math.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 12:50:55 -0400 (EDT)
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.05.10109301241150.28753-100000@rees.math.uwaterloo.ca>


I am a recreational and employed software developer.  I still remember the
day, several years ago, when I discovered the W3C, and realized that it
was them and not Netscape or Microsoft who dictated what HTML was.  I was
fascinated by the fact that a group had simply said "We set these
standards" and everyone followed them.  The nature of that situation
implied to me that the W3C was a "good" group of people, truly looking out
for the best interests of everyone involved in developing for and using
the world wide web.

The new RAND patent policy brings that crashing down.  As a recreational
software developer, most of my software is released under Free Software
liscences.  Moreover, I enjoy implementing W3C and IETF standards to the
letter - I like the fact that I know that if I do that, I have done it
"correctly."  My fear is that if the W3C adopts their RAND patent policy,
there may be sufficient backlash, especially from the Free Software/Open
Source communitees that a period of fragmentation and "forking" of WWW
standards would occur.  This would be extremely detrimental to the W3C's
stated goals of Interoperability and standardization.  

It is not hard for me to imagine a situation, given the implementation of
the RAND patent policy, where I would like to implement a W3C endorsed
standard, but would not due to patent-related restrictions.  I believe I
am not alone in this situation, and that is a terrible direction for the
Web to go.

Thanks for your time,
	Rob Ewaschuk

:     Rob Ewaschuk     :  University of Waterloo  :
:  theideaproject.org  :     Computer Science     :
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 12:50:58 UTC

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