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

Brief words regarding RAND, capital, and non-capital economies

From: Adam Megacz <adam@megacz.com>
Date: 30 Sep 2001 15:14:51 -0700
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <m3vgi072ck.fsf@noneofyourbusiness.com>

I'm sure you've recieved many comments so far, so I will attempt
brevity and clarity.

The patent system works quite well when all participants in a market
are operating in the capital economy (producer creates a good,
exchanges it for capital). In situations like this, a patent will
never prevent a useful good from being produced, since the mechanism
for licensing the patent (paying money) can be internalized into the
product transaction (charging money).

Unfortunately, web software has a large number of participants who do
*not* operate in the capital market. This includes academic
researchers (government grant command-economy, as well as recognition
economies), and open source programmers (cooking pot economy, gift
economy).

Quite simply, a researcher can't slice off 10% of his recognition and
turn it over to the patent holder as a licensing fee. Nor can the open
source programmer slice off 10% of the cooking-pot benefits he
recieves and remit that as a licensing fee.

In short, allowing the RAND policy will restrict the web exclusively
to participants in the capital economy. Think carefully: if you had
done this five years ago, would we have Apache today?

Thank you for your time.

  - a
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 18:16:08 GMT

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