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

RF License requirements and GPL software

From: Laurent Pinchart <laurent.pinchart@skynet.be>
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 22:14:22 +0100
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <200212152154.08892.laurent.pinchart@skynet.be>

Dear Patent Policy Working Group members,

Being an active member of the GNU free software community, I feel concerned by 
the Patent Policy Working Group Royalty-Free Patent Policy.

The Point 3, Section 4 of the Patent Policy document makes the implementation 
of W3C recommendations under the GPL license 
(http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html) impossible.

The Point 3, Section 4 of the Patent Policy document states that a royalty 
free license "may be limited to implementations of the Recommendation, and to 
what is required by the Recommendation;".

The GPL License, Section 7, prevents the distribution of software which appear 
to be free but which is not free because of patent restriction.

Any GPL software implementing a W3C recommendation covered by a patent claim, 
for which a royalty free license is available, could not be distributed if 
that royalty free license is limited to the implementation of the 
recommendation, as the person receiving the copy of the program would not be 
allowed to use the code outside the scope of the implementation of the W3C 
recommendation. The software would thus be forbidden to be distributed under 
the GPL license by the Section 7.

I personally feel that the right to implement all the W3C recommendations in 
any form of software is necessary for the survival of the web as we know it 
today, and of the rights of its user.

I hope that the Patent Policy Working Group will consider my opinion when the 
Patent Policy W3C recommendation final draft will be written.

Best regards,

Laurent Pinchart
Received on Sunday, 15 December 2002 16:13:49 UTC

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