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Proposed W3 Consortium "Royalty-Free" Patent Policy

From: Alex Schroeder <alex@gnu.org>
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 02:21:00 +0200
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <87y92nma37.fsf@gnu.org>

I just read the FSF's position on the proposed W3 Consortium
"Royalty-Free" Patent Policy on
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/w3c-patent.html.

The proposed royalty free patent policy seems to be better than
before, but it seem to still be not good enough.  The FSF even added a
ficticious scenario to their web site illustrating the problem.

I think the GPL has had a stupendous effect on how many people are
using software, and with the the spread of Free Software into
administrations and governments around the world, its importance will
grow further.  One of the key issues involved in this was the copyleft
concept -- the idea that the user has all the freedoms the Free
Software Definitions requires *AND* the assurance that his
contributions will not be used by free loaders -- people and companies
willing to take user contributions and incorporating it in proprietary
software, denying a certain fraction of future users the freedoms the Free
Software Definitions requires.  Future users will be less educated
about their rights, less motivated to contribute, less inclined to
take source code and study it and improve it and becoming part of our
world's IT future, if their contributions can be appropriated just
like that.

I'm sending your this mail to ask you to reconsider.  Don't make
future standards impossible to implement using the GPL.

Alex Schroeder
Received on Sunday, 6 April 2003 21:51:11 GMT

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