W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org > December 2002

Re: W3C Patent Policy

From: Steve O'Daniel <steve_o_daniel@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2002 08:24:01 -0800
To: fheinz@vialibre.org.ar
Cc: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <F128qvqP6yfIoZESdfP000041a6@hotmail.com>

My comments in line:

>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!

A careful reading of the policy will reveal that a "submission" is not
required.  Just being a member of a working group mandates RF licensing 
unless the member does a patent search and learns that it has a patent in 
this area.  This is a significant burden to a company that has a large 
portfolio of patents.

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

The GPL tries to be a single solution for all open source licensing 
problems.  Seldom does a single solution solve all problems.

>	Fede


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Received on Thursday, 5 December 2002 11:24:33 UTC

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