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

RAND licences: don\'t act unresponsibly and cowardly

From: <baptiste13@altern.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 00:55:24 +0200 (CEST)
Message-Id: <200109302255.SAA03885@tux.w3.org>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
A few comments on the creation of a fee-based RAND licence:

1. Any fee *is* discriminatory, against the open source community, which is both a good source of innovation and the best supporter
of W3C standards.

2. As shown by previous cases such as PNG vs GIF, or OGG vs MP3, it is possible in the web technology to create a 
patent-unencombered alternative without a loss in features. No patent is unavoidable before it is recognized as a standard or 
de facto standard. Therefore no new standard should be based on proprietary technology.

3. No company can havs a business model based on fees collected from a web standard. The companies asking for a RAND licence 
don't need it. They are just trying to negotiate better conditions for themselves, which is the normal game of the market economy. But 
the role of W3C is negotiate better conditions for the public. So play *your* part, and don't surrender without a fight. Most companies 
will accept to give a RF licence if no other choice is provided.

4. It is unresponsible to threaten the future by accepting a fee on any future developpements of a standard, which can become 
essential for the web, even if it looked an optional "high level" feature in the first place (cf. the story of MP3). If a fee has to be paid, 
then it must be a *one-time* fee paid by the same W3C members who make the decision, in exchange of a RF licence being granted 
to the public.

5. Fee-based licences won't help find agreements, but create new difficulties, as everybody with a hidden agenda will try to push 
"their" technology, regardless of the public good.

6. As for proprietary de facto standard: just ignore them and work on a next generation open technology. They don't need you 
anyway. The role of W3C is not to side with the strongest, but to provide a moral standard.

yours sincerely,
B. Carvello
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 18:55:42 UTC

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