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

Please keep web standards royalty free

From: Todd C. Miller <Todd.Miller@courtesan.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 17:37:29 -0600
Message-Id: <200109302337.f8UNbT8q009067@xerxes.courtesan.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
It was with great disappointment that I read the upcoming plan for
allowing patents to invade W3C standards.  While I certainly agree
with the portions of the new policy regarding disclosure of patents
it is my belief that allowing patented IP in said standards will
have a significantly deleterious effect on the Web and internet
standards in general.

The RAND proposal seems well-meaning in its aim to prevent
discrimination against licensees by requiring equal access to license
the patented IP.  However, any policy that allows patents actively
encourages members to include patented IP in W3C standards so as
to be able to trade patents with other members and so avoid royalty
payments.  The end result of such a scheme is that those in the
patent cabal are free to use affected standards while those on the
"outside" face a large number of royalty payments.

I understand that there is pressure to allow patented inventions
in various internet standards (this is an issue also being faced
by several IETF working groups).  However, I believe that to gain
the proper perspective one need only look to the Web's origins.
Much of the Web's initial popularity came from existence of open,
royalty-free standards and free software that implemented those
standards.  This enabled people to make available information at
minimal cost to themselves and those who would receive that content.
Royalty-laden licenses create cost barrier that be stifling to the
free dissemination of information and content we have come to expect
from the Web.

	  Todd C. Miller
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 19:37:49 UTC

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