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

Don't even think about it

From: Eric W. Sink <eric@sourcegear.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 14:07:38 -0500
Message-ID: <000701c149e3$2c0fee90$0200a8c0@windows>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>

I am stunned that the W3C would even consider an action
which appears to support the validity of software patents
under the current system.

The Reverend Billy Graham has a personal policy that he
will never ride alone in an elevator with a woman.  He
cannot allow his ministry to be tainted by even the hint
of impropriety, so he has set the standard of his behavior
exceedingly high.

Whether you like my comparison or not, I suggest that the W3C
has a similarly high level of obligation to do what is
"right".  The United States patent system is completely
unacceptable for the purpose of software and Internet
technology.  It was never designed to be used in an industry
as dynamic as ours.  If the concept of a patent is ever
going to be applied in a fashion which is healthy for
our markets, the law will require a complete overhaul.  In
the meantime, anyone who associates themselves with software
patents is doing damage to the industry.

It has been quite a while since I was directly involved with
the W3C, but I remember its leaders as incredibly smart,
talented people who could always see straight.  You are
smarter than this.  If you are being coerced by the larger
members of the consortium, then please take some time and
go remind yourself of what is truly important.  A little
time spent at your local equivalent of Walden Pond and 
you will come to your senses.

You have damaged the reputation of the W3C by even giving
consideration to this proposal, but not irreparably so.  
Start fixing that damage now.  Publicly retract the proposal, 
condemn it, and please let us all know the name of the
recreational pharmaceuticals you were using when you wrote it.

--
Eric W. Sink
eric@sourcegear.com
http://www.ericsink.com/
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 15:08:59 GMT

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