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

A comment on RAND...

From: Carey Nation <careynation@ga.prestige.net>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 14:37:41 -0400
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001801c149de$fd6dbf80$1e65a8c0@stevieray>
I'm writing to voice my strong disagreement with the proposed change in
patent standards for
the W3C.  While I understand the necessity and desirability of profit, I
believe that the W3C
accepting standards that can require royalties is a mistake.  My reasons are
as follows.

1. Open source development will cease on projects subject to royalties.
These projects are
under development by people who are generally unpaid volunteers, not large
corporations.  Open
source is a great source for excellent tools, and it would be unconscionable
to exclude such
talented, dedicated people from the area.  It is further undesirable to
remove open source
choices for the tools we all, as developers, may use.

2. As we all know, a standard is what you make it.  It is quite usual to
build a product using
standards from multiple sources.  It is also common to implement portions of
standards if other
portions do not serve the purpose at hand.  After all, this is where XML
comes from.  Can you
imagine the licensing nightmare inherent in a product with a few partially
implemented standards
contained in them?  This will open a Pandora's Box of litigation, and only
the lawyers will win.

3. Your standards will be ignored or worked around.  Yes, I'm sure
CompuServe made a lot of
money from GIF, but how often do you see one now?  PNG was created
specifically to address GIF
in a royalty free manner.  The encoding and format in general are very
similar.  But as a
developer, you don't have to write a check to implement PNG.

I understand that companies want to reap some benefit from their
development.  Everyone is in
business to make a profit.  But let's please leave the standards open and
make our profits with
our products, shall we?  It benefits everyone if interoperability is truly
achieved.  I believe
that this is the intent with SOAP and .NET.  If I read the author list
correctly, a large
portion of you work for companies directly involved with these technologies.
Let's make our
money with our products, not our standards.

Carey Nation
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 14:38:42 UTC

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