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

Field of use provision

From: Doug Winter <doug@pigeonhold.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 18:18:35 +0000
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20021231181835.GA894@pigeonhold.com>
I have read the draft of the proposed Royalty-Free Patent Policy, and I
applaud the aims of this policy in ensuring a free set of standards for
the web.

However, I have deep reservations with point 3 of section 3 of the
currently published version of the policy:

> 3. may be limited to implementations of the Recommendation, and to
> what is required by the Recommendation;

If I understand this correctly, this means that the royalty-free
licensing requirement could apply only when the technology in question
is used within a W3C recommendation.  I have deep reservations regarding
this point.

I am the Chief Technology Officer of a small online publisher, and as
such use free software extensively within our business.  From an
initially sceptical stance I have become increasingly convinced that
free software is not only good from a practical viewpoint (I don't
believe we would have a business today if it wasn't for the quality of
the free software we use) but from an ethical one.

This limitation in the grant of royalty free licenses is clearly
incompatible with the principles of free software, and could create a
situation where only license-encumbered software is able to be used to
implement critical internet functionality.

This could irretrievably damage the infrastructure of the internet, or
more likely, would create a 'parallel' internet which doesn't use your
standards, but that may be used with free software.  I do not believe
the free software community will compromise their principles in order to
implement your standards.

A bipartite Internet is clearly in the interest of nobody.  I therefore
request that you remove this point from the draft.


Doug Winter

Ceçi n'est pas une cuillère
key 1024D/6973E2CF print 2C95 66AD 1596 37D2 41FC 609F 76C0 A4EC 6973 E2CF

Received on Tuesday, 7 January 2003 06:16:49 UTC

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