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PPWG reply on issue L3 -- GPL & W3C RF license requirements

From: Daniel Weitzner <djweitzner@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 14:17:51 -0500
To: "Www-Patentpolicy-Comment@W3. Org" <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A68ADD82-5651-11D7-BBB8-000393CFED62@w3.org>

A number of commenters have raised questions about whether there is a 
conflict between the GPL and the royalty-free licensing requirements 
set in the W3C RF Patent Policy. In particular, commenters expressed 
concern that the W3C Patent Policy contains a 'field of use' 
restriction that would bar GPL implementations. The most immediate 
response to this concern is to note that there are no field-of-use 
restrictions whatsoever required by the policy. Hence, the fact that a 
Recommendation issues under the policy does not impose any field-of-use 
restrictions on an implementer. The Patent Policy WG has discussed this 
matter and reached the following conclusion:

The policy addresses the patent licensing requirements for 
implementations of W3C Recommendations, while remaining neutral as to 
what patent owners may do as to licensing for other purposes.The policy 
neither creates a presumption that any WG member will offer any license 
to its patents for any other use, nor that the Member will impose any 
conditions on implementers to limit their implementations to the Rec.

We hope that this addresses the concerns of the commenters. If not, 
please reply back by 18 March 2003.

Thank you,

Daniel Weitzner
Chair, W3C Patent Policy Working Group
Received on Friday, 14 March 2003 14:17:50 GMT

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