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The Open Source Initiative OSI letter of comment on W3C's proposed RAND policy.

From: DonEMitchell <DonEMitchell@pobox.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 19:01:52 -0800
To: <www-voice@w3.org>
Cc: "Jonathan Eisenzopf" <eisen@ferrumgroup.com>, <vxi-discuss@metronomicon.com>, <www-voice-request@w3.org>
The W3C has a voting proceedure, I presume.

This vote --it is perfectly clear to me, anyone else my stay in denial-- is
biases by the sympathy for corporations that have invested in this process.

The investment of time and resources by a corporation does not ENTITLE them
to have bias potential involving adoption owned IP within an open-source
standard.  Moreover, a precedence of yeilding to the pressures apparently
applied to the committee to use intellectual properties touted by the
corporate sponsors only SCREAMS just what kind of core organization the W3C
has become.

I'm befuddled, perplexed and dissappointed with the W3C in general.  I have
decided NOT to base any commercial voice-technology application on any part
of VoiceXML.  I am the author of a medical voice product that has made over
one-million voice-created medical document among a loyal user base.

It is as if the VoiceXML group has extorted us, the technical public, by
beliveing we will swallow anything they can spoon up.  I'm only trying to be
pragmatic, not personal.  I'm sorry if any particual person's career seems
threated by that statement --but get real.

Open standards should always be free, for pity sakes where is the
intelligence of the W3C committee.  Should there be an expose, an
investigation that uncovers hidden agenda.  Well, I do believe we are seeing
this expose in the powerful complaints of reasonable people and the watered
down and pitiful attempts to defend such a ludicrous standard as VoiceXML,
with it's up-front legal entanglements that would make a respectable company
be forced to have a legal staff just to create an about-box.

And, to get more real, if companies who do have legitimate patents and
grants wants to retain legal right of due patent process, I can't possibly
fathom how it's in any way prudent for the W3C to integrate that as an open
standard.  Why?  Why has the committee done this?

We all know the answer.  Why is the W3C in such continued denial in spite of
a unified outcry from our professional community.  You have not created an
open standard for ratification, you have created a closed, entangled
standard.  I'm laughing at the committee, wagging my head.

I challenge the W3C to a public vote, rather than an internal vote.

It has been clear and continues to become even more clear that to continue
this ploy of defending a most unpopular entangled standard is a waste.

I believe that by opening up a SPECIAL vote --damn the proceedures - go for
the public consensus, that the VoiceXML committee will realize that
continuing with this pathetic attempt to interweave IP ownership into
standards is a waste of time, and if continued to be persued, will only be
the earlier demise of any credibility left within the eyes of the technical
public with a standards committee that has turned into a joke.

Let me relay a true story...

While attending the Microsoft SAPI 5.0 pre-beta workshop, I asked this
question, "Does Microsoft have plans of aligning and supporting VoiceXML
standards now in development.  (I was the fellow asking so many questions.)

The answer from the Microsoft podium was revealing, as follows, "We have
just aquired a company that is on the VoiceXML committee to ensure our
commercial interests."

So obviously it was no secret to Microsoft that the evolution of a formative
standard could be influenced by holding a seat on the committee.

Regards with furrowed brow,
Received on Friday, 16 November 2001 21:55:27 UTC

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