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

RAND Concerns

From: Darrell Parlee <darrell@parlee.net>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 11:27:46 -0700
Message-ID: <3BB76422.1BEB4489@parlee.net>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
I may be a bit out of touch, because I was not aware of this
deadline. Hopefully, my unqualified input still brings some
value to the equation.

Most of the world views patents differently than within the
United States. I believe copyright (specific articulation)
is more appropriate than patent (general concept) enforced

A reasonable example would be for mathematical formula. 
Many believe a formula to hold true, whether or not its
existence is known. The "discoverer" filing a patent is
absurd, because the truth is inherent in the entity.

It was uncovered, not created, and deserves no more 
protection than copyright might deliver. Specific use with
a measurable guide (source code), would be sufficient to 
that end. 

I believe harm would come from enabling fee based standards
via W3 approval. Standards are a method of communication,
and the goal should be to enhance communication, rather than
enforce restrictions upon such activities.

This follows the same logic of taking a secure medium and
putting in back doors to subvert original intent. This
happened in the past regarding wiretap concerns. A wise
choice was exercised then (by backing off), and similar
approach should be taken now.

Leave political ramifications to respective governments for
them to sort out. Put in infrastructure enabling fair use
and unrestricted communication. Don't subvert the purpose 
of the consortium, which is facilitating communication
between independent parties. 

Keep the communications channel uncluttered. Remain focused
on enabling communication and forget about enforcement
altogether. Put sufficient flexibility in the infrastructure
to assure ongoing communications, and let that same resource
serve as the underpinning of higher level constructs.

If you dilute your focus, then the power of the consortium
will become a comical joke, that would render decisions 
made, useless to the general public. Should that occur,
you'd find people will defy the standards, and we'd fall
back into the historical void you're trying to eliminate.

Standards should exist, and be adhered to for pragmatic
reasons alone. If a standard serves the general good, and
comes without strings attached, then it will survive and

On the other hand, constraints imposed upon communication
open the door for flaunting the standard, and in essence
encourage people to subvert the mechanism.

Don't lose sight of the global nature of the medium. Every
country has differing views and perspective on their needs.
Open the door to appeasing any one government, or catering
the the wants of any global company, subverts the general

My view is simple. Keep a pure focus on communication. Don't
get side tracked into believing you must solve all the flaws
of society, or you'll create a monumental task, inadequately 
addressed. This undermines your own credibility in the

Drop RAND support from consideration, and focus on building
inter operability without constraint. Enhance global use of
communications standards by avoiding the political quagmire
at all costs. I believe in the value of your efforts, but
respectfully disagree with this initiative, as it is at odds
with what I believe to be the greater good.

Please accept this input in the spirit it was intended. Help
build bridges between people, cultures, governments and
countries. One world, one people, one day at a time. Thanks.

Darrell Parlee
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 14:28:17 UTC

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