W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org > January 2003

Bug in the proposed draft

From: jonathon <islamia@swbell.net>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 19:23:16 -0600
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-id: <3E10F184.10301@swbell.net>

 My objection centers around Section 3 of the W3C's proposed patent 
policy 
<http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-patent-policy-20021114/#sec-Requirements>. 
Item 3 of that section says that the royalty-free license may "may be 
limited to implementations of the Recommendation, and to what is 
required by the Recommendation". That is a "field of use" restriction.

The problem is the interaction of such a "field of use" restriction with 
Section 7 of GPL <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html#TOC3>. Under 
Section 7, the "field of use" restriction is a "conditions are imposed 
on you [the distributor of GPL'ed software] that contradict the 
conditions of this License". The "conditions of this license" require, 
for example, that those receiving distributions of GPL'ed software have 
the right to run the program for any purpose (Section 0), the right to 
modify it for any purpose (Section 2), etc. Any of these "purposes" 
could easily practice the teachings of the patent beyond what the "field 
of use" restriction allows.

Thus, regardless of who makes the changes, the result either shuts down 
distribution or forces the original developer to abandon GPL. Both 
outcomes are very unfortunate.

I care about the right of Free Software developers to implement all 
future web standards. Please eliminate the "field of use" restrictions!

Thank you for your attention.

Curtis J. Tromm
1315 Post Office Street
Galveston, Texas 77550

-- 
not knowing truth does not diminish truth
Received on Saturday, 4 January 2003 09:31:14 GMT

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