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

comments on patented and proprietary "standards"

From: Noah Hafner <nmh@andrew.cmu.edu>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 15:19:13 -0400 (EDT)
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.33L-022.0109301458390.9024-100000@unix15.andrew.cmu.edu>
Hello,
I have read about the current proposal for allowing
"standards" that are covered by patents and wish to
offer some commentary as a normal enduser.

According to http://www.w3.org/Consortium/

W3C's long term goals for the Web are:

1  Universal Access: To make the Web accessible to all by
   promoting technologies that take into account the vast
   differences in culture, education, ability, material
   resources, and physical limitations of users on all
   continents;

2  Semantic Web : To develop a software environment that
   permits each user to make the best use of the resources
   available on the Web;

3  Web of Trust : To guide the Web's development with careful
   consideration for the novel legal, commercial, and social
   issues raised by this technology.


Those sound like excellent goals and I am in favor of the w3c
following them.  The idea of patents seems to go in the opposite
direction - there are many people who do not have the resources
to pay the fees nor the time to figure out just which fees some
patent holder wants.

A few other points for your consideration:

The Internet got where it is solely because it is based totally
on open standards.

  I cannot predict what specifically the world wide web would
  become if it did become based on patents, but I cannot imagine
  it being any better than it is now (and probably a lot worse)


While it may seem easier to just allow patented standards, I
think that it would be much more sensible to base standards on
non-patent encumbered technology, and develop truly open standards
that everyone can use.

thank you for your time,
Noah Hafner
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 15:19:13 GMT

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