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

How free becomes too costly

From: Jerry Asher <jerry-sourceforge@theashergroup.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 15:21:51 -0800
Message-ID: <3E10D50F.3080602@theashergroup.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

I am an independent consultant.  I believe I provide my clients (other 
small businesses, non-profits, schools, ...) value.  I provide them with 
software solutions based on free, gpl'd software.

An example of why it would be bad to restrict free use of patents to 
only one part of the software engineering spectrum:

Some of the solutions I provide are for services over the web, such as 
secure e-commerce, and some of these solutions provide services in 
non-web related applications, such as ensuring document ownership, and 
secure document transmission through the USPS/FedEx etc., as encrypted 
disks.

But as I'm sure you realize, both sets of solutions are based on the 
same underlying technology, and implemented using the same software 
libraries.

What would that mean to say this library can be used when your are 
communicating over the public internet, but maybe not when communicating 
on your lan, and definitely not if you are communicating over a floppy disk?

The answer is that intentional or not, there will be massive amounts of 
confusion, and massive amounts of infringement.

You're going to make the lawyers happy.

If patent owners don't want to release their IP, then patented 
technology should not be part of a standard. Period.

Thank you,


Jerry Asher
Received on Sunday, 5 January 2003 19:47:52 GMT

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