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Commercial impact of the proposed W3C patent policy.

From: Riehl, Jonathan (Jonathan) <jriehl@lucent.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 17:05:37 -0500
Message-ID: <4AD0890E0D2ED311A74F00A0C9CDAE730779AC4E@il0015exch007u.ih.lucent.com>
To: "'www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org'" <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Cc: Dallas NCE Employees <dallasnce@indianhill.exchange.lucent.com>
	Speaking as a professional developer, I would like to make the
following comments on the proposed W3C patent policy
(http://www.w3.org/TR/patent-policy/):
	Due to the current industry climate there is an overbearing pressure
to lower the cost of software development.  This pressure has caused the
development team I work on to attempt to reduce or eliminate external
licensing of fee carrying software and technologies.  For example, we have
already replaced an external vendor by developing one capability in-house.
In another instance, we have incorporated software into our product that has
been made freely available for commercial use under an open source license.
By either attaching fees to in-house implementation and deployment of a
technology or preventing volunteers from releasing free, open source
alternatives to fee based providers of a technology, this proposal would
allow other W3C members to increase the development cost of our product.
Just as alarming is that these costs could be on a W3C recommendation by
recommendation basis.
	By allowing licenses to potentially increase the cost of employing
W3C technologies, I will be forced to no longer support employment of W3C
standards in our product.  The only exception to this would be in cases
where a customer requires compliance to one or more W3C specifications.
This stance would be in contrast to my current position of further
incorporation of W3C standards into our product.  I have held this stance
for the purpose of lowering the cost of internal interface development and
maintenance, as well as potentially increasing the value of our product to
our customers.
	Speaking as a hobbyist and a pragmatic opponent of software patents,
I have the following additional comments:
	I would like to express my deepest disappointment that the current
working document is even up for further consideration.  While I respect the
rights of intellectual property holders, I can only applaud any effort on
the part of standards organizations to keep their standards open to the full
community of potential implementers (such as recent sentiments expressed by
the ECMA secretary general towards standardization of C# and the CLI,
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2792690,00.html.)  I feel that
patents have become more of a taunt and burden to entrepreneurship than a
facilitator of it.  Proprietary technologies should remain trade secrets
rather than be posed as contributions to the public good in the guise of
full disclosure.
	Thank you for any consideration given to these comments.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Riehl

Please note that the opinions I have expressed are my own and not
necessarily those of Lucent Technologies, or any of its affiliates.
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 18:06:15 GMT

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