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

I implore you not to leave Opensource behind!

From: Nathaniel Grady <nate@nutopia.org>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 16:37:05 -0400
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20010930163705.A12713@nutopia.org>
The killer-app that initally started the mass popularity of the web was NCSA Mosaic. A free, opensource program. If the web had been just another commercial applicaton with high liscensing fees it would never have taken off. The millions of academics who used the web to share thier knowldge and discoveries would never have been able to afford to had it been any other way. Imagin if journals had a submission fee just to submit your paper! I believe RAND licensing could lead to that very sort of thing with new internet technologies such as SVG. Looking further at SVG shows why RAND would be the downfall of the W3C. Why do we need SVG in the first place? I mean, we have Macromedia Flash, Adobe's Postscript, and hundreds of other image formats that are encoumbered with licensing fees. Why not use those for the web's new imaging format? SVG would be no different from any of a hundred current schemes execpt that it was open and free! RAND removes the *only* real advantage to SVG over another format. And what abou academics? I can't develop innovative research based on W3C standards anymore if I have to pay Kodak or Microsoft a license fee for each copy i distribute! AndI don't see what would prevent a gif/tiff/etc LZW patent sort of thing happening where everyone using them has to pay a license fee (well, everyone who they feel would provide enouhg income to bother collecting from). There are other standards bodies that allow patents in thier standards to have patent fees. Look what happens with thier standards. As Frounhaufer and others try and collect on MPEG related patents, MP3 is slowly falling out of favor to the free OGG/Vorbis format. If they really start to crack down the switch to other formats will take off like wildfire and the ISO standard will be just another ignored and unused standard. The W3C standards have always been resepected because everyone knows they are patent-free and can be used for research, for opensource projects, and for small-buisness's commerical products unlike other standard bodie f

I implore you to reconsiter your course of action!

Thanks,
Nathaniel Grady 
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 16:36:48 GMT

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