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Royalty-Free Patent Policy and the GPL

From: Liam Morland <Liam@Morland.ca>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 08:01:57 -0500
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20021231130157.GC3547@burns.dyndns.org>
In order to communicate, all parties to the communication must use a
standard language. On the web, the standard language is composed of the
various protocols specified by W3C Recommendations. The Web was founded
to allow people to communicate freely. The Web works because the
Recommendations that govern it can be freely used by everyone. This
situation is threatened by "field of use" restrictions on patent claims
which would be allowed in the Royalty-Free Patent Policy (working draft,
Nov. 14, 2002). 

Field of use restrictions conflict with the GNU General Public Licence, 
Section 7. The GPL is the banner-bearer of Free Software licences, 
covering a huge body of software. Conflicts between W3C Recommendations 
and the GPL would prevent a huge number of computer users from 
implementing W3C Recommendations. The community would be split, the 
W3C's moral authority undermined, and the ability of the Web to be a 
place of free communication damaged.

The Royalty-Free Patent Policy should amended to ensure that it does not 
conflict with the GPL.

Liam Morland

-- 
Liam Morland <Liam@Morland.ca>  <http://Liam.Morland.ca/>
    At the Kandersteg International Scout Centre <http://www.kisc.ch/>
Scouting is EDUCATION FOR LIFE! <http://ScoutDocs.ca/>
    PGP Public Key: <http://Liam.Morland.ca/public-key.pgp>

Received on Tuesday, 7 January 2003 07:26:02 GMT

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