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

Proposed RAND Policy

From: Robin Snader <rsnader@ufl.edu>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 23:01:25 -0400
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20010930230125.A729@ufl.edu>
I'd like to open with a quote:
"The Internet is totally out of control, impossible to map accurately, and
being used far beyond its original intentions. So far, so good."
                -- Dr. Dobb's Journal May 1993

The great thing about the Internet lies in its democracy. For an investment
smaller than that required to view material already published on the 
Internet, an individual can become a publisher of information of
information himself. The openness of the Internet has placed the millionaire
and his doorman on an equal footing; the multi-national, multi-billion
dollar corporation is no more able to shape the future of the Internet than
one man working out of his home. The proposal on the table, "Reasonable and
Non-Discriminatory" licensing fees for web standards, will change all this.

Who decides what is "Reasonable"? When the one party earns makes millions
of dollars every day from its web site and the other party creates a web
site as a labor of love, earning not a single penny from it, what fee is
"Non-Discriminatory"? the $10,000 that one will not even notice will shut 
down the other. The name of the policy itself contains that fundamental
contradiction. To see who will benefit from this policy, look at the
composition of the working group that proposed it:

"Apple, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, ILOG, Microsoft, Nortel Networks, 
The Open Group, Philips Electronics, Reuters, and Sun worked on this draft
together with W3C Team members." 
(from http://www.w3.org/2001/08/patentnews)

What we see is that the companies who are pushing for this policy are those
will profit from it. I urge you to do your part to keep the Internet free
and open, and available to the people who made it and continue to make it
great.

Sincerely,
Robin Snader
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 23:01:33 GMT

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