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Re: W3C Patent Policy

From: Federico Heinz <fheinz@vialibre.org.ar>
Date: 05 Dec 2002 13:06:06 -0300
To: "Steve O'Daniel" <steve_o_daniel@hotmail.com>
Cc: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <1039104367.16219.139.camel@michelle>
Steve,

thank you for sharing your thoughts on the W3C's patent policy. I
believe, however, that some clarification is in order. 

> 1) I don't believe the W3C should be "extorting" the legally obtained 
> intellectual property of others for application out the scope of W3C 

Nobody's forcing companies to submit the patent to the W3C. The W3C is
free to set policy as it sees fit, and the tradition of the W3C is to
*not* allow *any* patented stuff in its standards, royalty-free or
otherwise, and many argue this is precisely the reason why the Web has
been so successful. The decision to allow nonsensical software patents
is a *concession* by the W3C. If you own a software patent, and you
don't want to grant an unlimited royalty free license on it... well,
just don't submit it, and fight it out in the market!

> 2) The GPL is not immutable.  If there truly is a problem with the GPL and 
> field of use restrictions, perhaps it, the GPL, is deficient and should be 
> changed.

You are right, the GPL can change as in already has. It is unlikely,
though, that it will change to accomodate this W3C policy, because the
GPL was specifically designed to create this kind of "problem", and thus
keep people from stripping user's rights through the addition of patent
restrictions. The problem is not due to a "bug" in the GPL, it is just
operating as designed: flagging a flawed policy that can be used to
revoke part of the user's freedom.

	Fede


Received on Thursday, 5 December 2002 11:04:22 GMT

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