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

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

From: Ciaran O'Riordan <ciaran@member.fsf.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 20:42:11 +0000
To: djweitzner@w3.org
Cc: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20030324204211.GA22712@chewie.compsoc.com>

I am one of the many people concerned about the GPL and
the patent-policy draft.  Your response to peoples
concerns is to "note that there are no field-of-use 
restrictions whatsoever required by the policy".

This was never in dispute.  The problem is that
field-of-use patents are *allowed* by the policy.  You
also state that:

  "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."

I could remain neutral: I just do nothing.  For the W3C
Patent Policy working group, there is no "neutral".  You (and they)
can decided to allow standards with field-of-use restrictions
or you can disallow them.

We (the Internet community) have an opportunity to stand
firm for Freedom.  You have been given a position at the
forefront of this issue.  Monopolies are stunting the
progress of software in many places with patents and secret
protocols.  Right now the Internet is Free, I'd like to
see it remain Free.

If standards that incorporate patented technology are allowed,
the community will have to repeatedly fight for it's freedom
every time a large corporation pushes such a standard.  Right
now, You have an opportunity to save us all that work so that
we can work to regain and secure freedom in other aspects
of life.

Please stand firm against allowing patents in standards.

Ciaran O'Riordan


On Fri, 14 Mar 2003 14:17:51 -0500, Daniel Weitzner wrote:
> 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.
Received on Monday, 24 March 2003 15:42:20 GMT

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