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

Royalty-Free Patent Policy GPL Encumbrance = Bad News

From: Zack Johnson <zack@hamhocks.net>
Date: 30 Dec 2002 22:32:33 -0500
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <1041305553.2000.32.camel@orthanc>

To whom it may concern:

As a developer and former small business operator, I am deeply troubled
by the W3C's rather confused language in its Royalty-Free Patent Policy,
specifically the section regarding `Free Software.'  It seems the
proposal tries to have the best of both worlds, while in reality having
none.  Either let the implement the standards royalty-free or not.  No
not try to limit usage to 'web-only.'  Such distinctions are largely
meaningless as the same application may or may not be deployed in a web
context-- often without the knowledge of the developer.  At anyrate, it
puts developers in the position of becoming a judge, rather than just a
developer.

I am additionally at a loss to understand the W3C's eagerness to exclude
the `Free Software' community.  Perhaps the W3C wishes to become
entirely irrelevant, though I cannot imagine why.  Unless other parties
newly joined are less friendly to fair competition.

Respectfully,

Zack Johnson
Received on Sunday, 5 January 2003 11:41:17 GMT

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