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

Some more background info on MS' views

From: Peter Berenyi <ber@sa.eol.hu>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 20:26:08 +0100
Message-ID: <3E2EF04F.17056AE6@sa.eol.hu>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org


      Specifically, some W3C members, notably
      Microsoft, favour a plan that allows the
      collection of royalties for the use of intellectual
      property. "The W3C is trying to take a hard
      stand on royalties and patents," Newcomer
      said. "Microsoft is trying to move to a
      royalty-based model for the specification. This
      stalemate between Microsoft and the W3C is
      about the patent and royalties question."
      "There was a community that wanted to take
      specifications in this space to groups other than
      W3C," said the W3C member. "The reason
      they want to do that is unrelated to anything
      to do with Web services or choreography. It's
      basically an in-your-face response to the
      displeasure with the work going on with
      respect to intellectual property."

Web Services Choreography Working Group

!! http://www.w3.org/2002/ws/chor/#participants
Mr. Turner, could you kindly explain to the general public where is
Microsoft? IBM? BEA?


-  (L5) Making RF binding on all Members is a closed issue [...]

However, adoption of the "field of use" restriction is a step in the
wrong direction.

And Now For Something Completely Different
( http://bau2.uibk.ac.at/sg/python/Scripts/Different/Different.html :)

Programming is an inherently recursive job. One can, in principle,
produce programs producing a programs producing a programs producing a
programs, etc. Quite easily. I guess that much is taught to would-be
engineers even at the University of Western Ontario.

So. Any consistent theory of IP, if applied to programming, should be
able to deal with this recursivity (present legal practice is expressly
unable to do that).

I think however, that it is not just the present state of affairs, but
there is also a deep theoretical issue which makes any such theory of
Intellectual Property impossible.

If IP is to be recursively inherited over algorithmic transformations,
one can not avoid using concepts like conditional Kolmogorov complexity
to define a consistent "IP measure". Alas, these beasts are notoriously

Why bother? IP law serves well, what else one would ask for? Yes, "640K
should be sufficient for anyone". One definitely needs a bit more
imagination. The lack of a proper source code market is already painful.
Because of this there are a lot of paralel, unnecessary developments, so
many human efforts wasted. It costs much, much money - to the end user.

But it is not the end of the story. We either have a consistent,
computable theory of IP in software development (which would open up the
source code market) or we have to abandon the very idea of IP in this
domain. Since I suspect the first option does not exist, I prefer the
latter one.

As the world code base grows (be it counted in bits or million lines or
whatever), the cost of secrecy will grow very fast, as will the cost of
IP enforcement. Why, even trivial infringements could not be detected
beyond some point if sources are not available for algorithmic checking.

Give an hour's thought to these problems, please.

Metaprogramming and Free Availability of Sources

Peter Berenyi
Systems Administrator
email: ber@sa.eol.hu
work +36 1 237 9972  mobile +36 20 411 0580

Received on Wednesday, 22 January 2003 14:26:18 UTC

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