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

Field of Use Restrictions Prevent Free Software Participation

From: Michael Pacey <michael@wd21.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 13:38:44 +0000 (GMT)
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <1038317924.3de379640793f@wd21.dyndns.org>

I recently read about the proposed W3C patent policy, which includes the 
adoption of a royalty free license for patented technologies included in W3C 
standards.

Such a policy is an excellent step towards ensuring that the Web progresses in 
an open way, encouraging innovation by spreading ideas for the use and 
development of everyone; however the proposal also includes "fields of use" 
restrictions which effectively eliminate the good that the policy would do.

I urge the W3 Consortium Patent Policy Working Group to amend the proposed 
policy to remove these restrictions. Such restrictions will lead to a ghetto-
ising of the Web. The Web is a medium of speech, perhaps the most free public 
speech we have; to place limits on who may speak and how they may do it based 
on their "field of use" is to create built-in favouritism for certain points of 
view. Apparently, the medium is the message. For a medium as ubiquitous and 
with such great potential for communication as the Web, the message conferred 
by the medium must be neutral, and remain neutral. W3 standards must be 
uncompromisingly open and free.

Please remove the restrictions on field of use.

Michael Pacey
Received on Tuesday, 26 November 2002 11:09:30 GMT

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