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

the New RAND.

From: HILL, WILLIAM <whill1@entergy.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 16:40:11 -0600
Message-ID: <97E75CC4C2ABD211827400105A24866504BD5D8A@rbs-exs01.rbnet.entergy.com>
To: "'www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org'" <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
You intent seems to be the same. The 11 points for inclusion of patented
methods into W3C standards are anything but clear, but the upshot is a
restatement of RAND as Royalty Free. If the use of a patent as a patent may
be used is too restrictive for their standards they should simply not use or
encourage patents.

The terms used are still vague, and what the first condition means is NOT
DEFINED:

A Royalty-Free license shall mean a non-assignable, non-sublicensable
license to make, have made, use, have used, sell, have sold, offer to sell,
import, and distribute and dispose of implementations of the Recommendation
that:

1. shall be available to all implementers of the specification worldwide,
whether or not they are W3C Members;

That and other conditions leave lots of room for abuse. Would a no cost
add-in to Micro$haft's Visual $tudio count as available? Might they
standardize MP3 because it is "available" to all? Availability is not always
usable, especially if the tools of use are in some way encumbered. It does
me little good if I can unencode something if I can't turn around and create
content.

The Patent Policy Working Group believes that the RF license as proposed is
compatible with all major Open Source licenses except the GPL. We are still
working on GPL-related issues.

They have a lot of work to do and I'd like to see what "Open Source" support
they have besides their belief system. The crux of their thinking is this:

A claim is necessarily infringed hereunder only when it is not possible to
avoid infringing it because there is no non-infringing alternative for
implementing the required portions of the Recommendation. Existence of a
non-infringing alternative shall be judged based on the state-of-the-art at
the time the specification becomes a Recommendation.

There is always an alternative! If there is not, the law and patent process
is broken. Laws and standards should bend towards morals rather than morals
and standards bend toward broken laws. W3C should not lend it's support to
broken laws
Received on Wednesday, 27 February 2002 17:40:23 GMT

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