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Objection to "field of use" restriction

From: Andy Smith <andy@zambezi.org.uk>
Date: 05 Dec 2002 00:24:33 +0000
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <1039047792.1754.15.camel@kariba.zambezi.org.uk>

I am writing to express my concern at the "field of use" restriction in
Section 3, item 3 of the W3C Royalty-Free Patent Policy working draft
dated 14th November 2002. I object to this restriction because it is,
according to the Free Software Foundation's interpretation, incompatible
with some free software licenses, including the GNU General Public
License. If the restriction remains in the final policy, programs under
the GPL will not be able to fully implement any W3C standard that
includes a patent license with a field of use restriction.

As as web developer I make heavy use of GPL-licensed free software to
create and test web pages that comply with current W3C standards. I
believe standards compliance is extremely important to the web
community, and I would be disappointed if the adoption of future
standards were to be impeded in any way. I believe this would be the
effect of the field of use restriction, since many people (myself
included) would probably continue to develop websites using free
software, and to ensure that they are accessible to people using free
web browsers.

I therefore urge the W3C to drop the "field of use" restriction from the
Royalty-Free Patent Policy. I support the Free Software Federation's
position on the patent policy proposal, described at:

Andy Smith
Received on Wednesday, 4 December 2002 20:18:11 UTC

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