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

Objection to "field of use" restriction

From: Ben North <ben@redfrontdoor.org>
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2003 08:56:12 -0000
Message-Id: <200301070908.h0798bG16869@cocoa.globalgold.co.uk>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

[Re-sent because of problems with the archive permission
web-page.  The official comment deadline has passed, but perhaps
in light of the technical problems the committee will extend the
deadline slightly?]

I am encouraged by the W3C's decision to reject the policy of
allowing technologies covered by patents licensed under
"reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms. However, the
proposed replacement policy still has a significant shortcoming
--- point 3 of the licensing requirements allows a patent-holder
to limit the licensing of a patent to "implementations of the
Recommendation, and to what is required by the Recommendation".
Such limitation would prevent the implementation of Web
standards by code licensed under the GNU General Public License.
In light of the enormous contribution of Free Software to the
very existence of the Web, it would cause great harm to the
further development of a truly free and open Web if the current
patent policy were allowed to stand. I urge the committee to
amend the policy by removing the option of a "field of use"
restriction.

Thank you for taking the time to consider these points.

Yours,

Ben North.

(I am a software developer with a strong belief in the benefits,
both technical and societal, of Free Software. For the
avoidance of doubt, I should make it clear that the above
opinions are mine, and nothing about the opinion of my employer
should be inferred from them.)
Received on Tuesday, 7 January 2003 04:02:03 GMT

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