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

Patents in W3C standards? Egad.

From: Reuven M. Lerner <reuven@lerner.co.il>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 19:10:59 +0200
Message-ID: <15287.21027.37851.358006@localhost.localdomain>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
CC: "Reuven M. Lerner" <reuven@lerner.co.il>
I'm horrified to discover that the W3C will allow standards that
depend on patented technology.

The whole idea of standards is that more than one organization can
provide an implementation.  This results in lower prices, shorter
development cycles, and better performance.

But if you allow patents, this interoperability will go out the
window.

Yes, companies often come up with great ideas, and should be
compensated for them -- perhaps even in the form of patents.  But must
a standards organization come out and say that everyone must use
so-and-so's patented technology?

- Will every open-source browser have to include patented
  technologies?
- Will citizens of poor nations be unable to browse the Web, because
  they cannot afford to pay the royalties?
- Are we so desperate for technological breakthroughs that we must
  abandon the idea of vendor neutrality and platform independence?

I'm shocked, saddened, and rather upset to hear about this.  I can
only hope that the numerous comments you're receiving will influence
your decision.

Reuven M. Lerner
Web/database consultant and Linux Journal columnist
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 13:11:09 GMT

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