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

Proposed patent policy

From: Robert Myers <rmyers1400@attbi.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 22:04:00 -0500
Message-ID: <3DE82AA0.30106@attbi.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Cc: gnu@gnu.org

Sir or Madam:

As I understand it, the current Last Call draft proposed by the W3 
Consortium Patent Policy Working Group would allow companies to continue 
to propose standards like CIFS (the Common Internet File System) for use 
on the world-wide web subject to restrictions that are plainly intended 
to discriminate against developers of free software.

I am certain there are other ways in which the "field of use" 
restrictions placed on commitment of patent claims for "royalty-free" 
use will be inimical to the  free software community, but this 
particularly naked attack on free software by companies with a 
proprietary interest in web standards is not a matter of speculation; it 
is already a reality.  In particular, developers working on software 
using the SMB protocol are better off working in ignorance of the 
informtion on the CIFS provided by Microsoft, because that information 
is made available subject to the proviso that it not be used in the 
development of free software.

That companies like Microsoft would see free software such as Samba as a 
threat is understandable, but that W3C would allow itself to be used by 
companies like Microsoft in its pursuit of its apparent but unannounced 
goal of arranging matters so that free software cannot interact with 
full functionality with systems running proprietary software such as 
Windows (tm) is not.

I therefore respectfully urge you to amend the policy to prohibit the 
imposition of "field of use" retstrictions on patent claims contributed 
to W3C standards.

Robert B. Myers
Received on Friday, 29 November 2002 22:41:18 UTC

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