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Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users

From: Jesper Juhl <juhl@eisenstein.dk>
Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2001 20:41:26 +0200
Message-ID: <3BB615D6.E4E3B071@eisenstein.dk>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Very well written, I think you have just expressed what a _lot_ of people feel.

Please add my name to the list of people supporting the views expressed by Mr. Cox in the mail below.

Best regards,
Jesper Juhl
juhl@eisenstein.dk







> W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users
>
> From: Alan Cox (alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk)
> Date: Sun, Sep 30 2001
>
> *Next message: Tony O'Bryan: "RAND Licensing"
>
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>    * Reply: Dave Clendenan: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: Bruce Krysiak: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: Ben Ford: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: mcnill@talk21.com: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: Martin Hamilton: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
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>   ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
> Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 15:42:01 +0100 (BST)
> Message-Id: <E15nhn7-0006Yz-00@the-village.bc.nu>
> From: Alan Cox <alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
> Subject: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users
>
> "The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing
>  common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its
>  interoperability"
>
> A lofty and great goal. A pity that the W3C now proposes to throw away its
> very reason for existence.
>
> And now we have a new much abused patent politics buzzword
>
> "Non-discriminatory"
>
> Indeed.
>
> I think the W3C should ask itself how allowing parties to use patents to
> prevent community projects for blind access is "non-discriminatory".
>
> Tim Berners Lee created an innovative environment about sharing and
> referencing data. You plan to give large companies the power to stifle
> that innovation.
>
> It says something for the sad state of W3C that the proposal in question
> has been allowed to progress, carefully arranged not to be visible to
> the outside world. The dates of the short consultation period do not even
> appear to have been adjusted in the light of September 11th. The proposed
> shortening of the consultation period also appears to violate the W3C
> rules, but then I am sure you don't care. I can smell the rot from here.
>
> A patent-encumbered web threatens the very freedom of intellectual debate,
> allowing only large companies and big media houses to present information
> in certain ways. Imagine where the web would be now if only large companies
> were able to use image files.
>
> And large companies it is. I note the distinct lack of small companies on
> the proposal in question. Within the ISO where the same things happen the
> money simply moves in circles between big players. Accountants and lawyers
> pay $100,000 sums back and forth as part of an accounting game that they
> use to keep out smaller players.
>
> I think we can also be sure that the kind of W3C members working this
> little agenda have plans. I would bet on "Windows digitally-protected
> uncopyable web pages" being one of them. Of course the protection they
> really mean is "against reading by non IE users".
>
> The W3C must ask itself whether it plans to continue the vision of Tim or
> become another ITU, a bloated dinosaur that exists more as a corporate United
> Nations of communication than a standards body.
>
> If the W3C wishes to remain relevant to the people, to the small businesses
> (the other 80%) and to the future of the web then I strongly suggest that it
>
> o       Requires non-disclosed patents are freely licensed for use
>         in that standard for all.
>
> Without this a key infrastructure standard may suddenely be "owned" by a W3C
> member who intentionally kept quiet to gain "non discriminatory" - but large -
> license fees. The current wording encourages patent abuse. Licensing on a
> RAND basis would only be appropriate for such a non-disclosed patent if
> existing RAND licenses were on that proposal before final consultantion.
> Regardless of the rest of the outcome all honest members will benefit from
> such a stricter policy on non-disclosure of patents.
>
> o       Does not "approve" or "recommend" or allow its logo to be used
>         on any patent-encumbered item.
>
> To do so will tarnish the value and reputation of the W3C name and logo. It
> will also create confusion about what W3C standards indicate.
>
> o       Restricts its activities on patent-encumbered projects to providing a
>         forum where such people can work on patent encumbered projects to be
>         released under their own names only.
>
> Here its activities would be in a consultative role, helping to guide these
> bodies in areas of overall standards compliance and interpretation of W3C
> goals. It is possible to further the web standardisation goal without
> becoming part of those activities that are contrary to the original goals
> of the W3C.
>
> This would mean SVG became a multi-vendor consortium pushing a private
> specification. But let's face it - with the patents involved - that is
> precisely what it is. It may even be appropriate for SVG work to be
> transferred to the ITU.
>
> Finally we should all remember this. When patented W3C standards ensure
> there is only one web browser in the world, its owners will no longer
> have time for the W3C or standards.
>
> Alan
>
>   ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>    * Next message: Tony O'Bryan: "RAND Licensing"
>    * Previous message: Allan Martinsen: "Dear Sirs/Madams"
>    * Next in thread: Clark C . Evans: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: Clark C . Evans: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: Dave Clendenan: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: Bruce Krysiak: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: Ben Ford: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: mcnill@talk21.com: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: Martin Hamilton: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Reply: Rodent of Unusual Size: "Re: W3C Patent Policy: Bad for the W3C, bad for business, bad for users"
>    * Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]
>    * Other mail archives: [this mailing list] [other W3C mailing lists]
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Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 18:14:08 GMT

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