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

Proposed Changes in W3C patent policy

From: Mike Brodbelt <mike@coruscant.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 22:44:46 +0000
Message-ID: <3BB7A05E.2DCDE834@coruscant.demon.co.uk>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Dear W3C members,

I am writing to express my concern at the proposed changes to the W3C's
policy regarding the development of future standards. The W3C has always
been a body that has promoted standards, in order to provide a level
playing field for interoperability between competing implementations. It
is in the interests of all users of the World Wide Web that standards be
set to provide a yardstick against which implementations can be

For the W3C to permit the inclusion of technologies which require
payment of royalties, into standards is a great disservice to all web
users. Furthermore, to allow companies who fail to disclose patents held
on technologies being considered for inclusion, to then retroactively
seek compensation from implementors after a standard has been ratified,
is unconscionable.

In my opinion, the W3C has a responsibility to ensure that the standards
process remains free of technologies that are thus encumbered. Only
technologies that are royalty free should be considered for inclusion
into proposed standards. If the W3C fails to enforce freedom from
royalties, they will effectively prevent non-corporate bodies from
providing competing implementations of standards, and encourage more of
the obnoxious behaviour seen from companies such as Unisys, with regard
to the GIF patent.

As an IT professional with responsibility for choosing technology for my
companies' web presence, I will always choose free and open standards
over those encumbered by intellectual property taxes. As the body
responsible for the Web's standards, the W3C should put the best
interests of the web's user base ahead of the profit margins of
corporate interests, and reject the proposals to permit RAND licensed
technologies for inclusion in standards.

Mike Brodbelt.
Director, Midgard Consultancy.
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 18:49:52 UTC

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