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

I grudgingly approve of the draft policy

From: Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 20:07:54 -0600
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20030101020754.GB13947@quetzlcoatl.dodds.net>
Dear Sir or Madam,

The W3C's proposed patent policy has attracted a good deal of attention
recently from the Free Software Community, and a number of people have
encouraged members of that Community to submit their comments to you
regarding that policy.  Thank you for taking the time to read what is
surely one among many such submissions.

I believe that software patents, in all their forms, are inherently bad;
that they are an obstacle to progress, an artificially-imposed economic
inefficiency which should be eliminated to the benefit of all.  I am
entirely opposed to software patents.  Nevertheless, I feel that I must
speak up in support of the proposed patent policy.

I recognize that this draft policy is the result of much discussion,
debate and hard-won compromise among parties with often diametrically
opposed interests.  While this draft is not everything I could hope for,
it is a noteworthy achievement that so many corporations which deal
heavily in software patents have been willing to sign on to a document
that would stake out a small territory for standards unencumbered by

You will have most likely heard from members of the Free Software
Foundation, and many of their supporters, rejecting the patent policy as
written.  While I have great respect for the FSF, I would urge you not
to place too much importance on these remarks: even within the Free
Software Community, the FSF is not always representative of a majority
viewpoint.  In the specific case before us of web technologies, it is
clear that there are many other parties within the Free Software
Community -- notably, the Apache Software Foundation -- who have a
vested interest in protecting web standards for Free Software but do not
necessarily see eye-to-eye with every position of the FSF.

Kindest regards,
Steve Langasek
Debian GNU/Linux Developer

Received on Tuesday, 7 January 2003 02:57:59 UTC

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