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All Recommendations should be royalty-free

From: James Clark <jjc@jclark.com>
Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2001 08:54:43 +0700
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <227980098.1001926483@[192.168.0.132]>
I have reviewed

  http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-patent-policy-20010816/

The WD introduces a high/low-level distinction:

"Importance of interoperability for core infrastructure, lower down the 
stack: Preservation of interoperability and global consensus on core Web 
infrastructure is of critical importance. So it is especially important 
that the Recommendations covering lower-layer infrastructure be 
implementable on an RF basis. Recommendations addressing higher-level 
services toward the application layer may have a higher tolerance for RAND 
terms."

I think this distinction is irrelevant.  If a Recommendation is part of the 
core infrastructure, then it needs to be RF whether it's low-level or 
high-level.  If a Recommendation is not part of the core infrastructure, 
then I would question whether the W3C should be devoting part of its 
limited resources to it.  In summary, if it's important for the Web 
infrastructure enough to be a W3C Recommendation, then it needs to be RF.

Non-RF standards would have a devastating impact on open-source software, 
which has historically been very important in the development of the Web.

I also believe that such a policy would further weaken respect for the W3C 
as an institution and would tend to promote the perception that the W3C is 
a tool of its corporate paymasters rather than an organization that is 
trying to do the right thing, whether morally or technically.

James
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 21:54:59 GMT

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