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

Is there a way out?

From: Gary Lea <G.R.Lea@btinternet.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 12:56:46 -0700
Message-Id: <p05111b01b964b6d59461@[]>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

Dear All,

In the particular context of W3C's work and history, I can really understand
why people are upset about any possible move away from RF and towards RAND
licensing but you have to bear in mind the broader context i.e. that many
international and national technical standards organizations have already
had to permit some variant on this option for many years (e.g. ANSI, ITU,
etc., etc.) just in order to survive in the face of the growth of
consortia/trade association/industry association-based standards development

More importantly, it has to be acknowledged that it is not just a question
of a brightline RF/RAND either/or and that there is no single model for
RAND: there is no legal or policy reason why a sui generis W3C licence
scheme could not be devised under which, even if some license fee is
permitted (low/controlled as desired), you could bar the licensor from
performing audits (completely/save in exceptional circumstances as defined)
or demanding use of their products (that would probably be product tying and
illegal anyway) or any other of the evils listed on this board.

At the end of the day, be clear about what is at stake here: if a decent
compromise is not found between public and private interests, W3C could be
bypassed by private sector standards developers and just left to wither on
the vine. It deserves better than that.


Gary Lea
Received on Wednesday, 24 July 2002 15:56:48 UTC

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