W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > February 2013

Re: Mailing List Patent Policy

From: Brent Shambaugh <brent.shambaugh@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2013 20:09:32 -0600
Message-ID: <CACvcBVrmBG0=iw4XH6=HEGL+1ygFZro=tLcYZKTPre7g+7JtjQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Cc: public-webpayments@w3.org
I was confusing things a bit. Openness with Freedom. Well anyway, here is
the GNU General Public License applied to Linux kernel (

On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 7:51 PM, Brent Shambaugh

> Here's my take:
> Tim Berners-Lee speaks of a possible C-change (sp?) <1> with the semantic
> web. If this change did indeed involve more people putting publicly
> accessible data on the www in such a way that machines could make sense of
> it and thus make it easier to correlate things, then it seems possible that
> widespread innovation could ensue. Intellectual property information,
> rules, regulations, etc. may be able to be expressed in RDF so that a wider
> variety of people can participate without anxiety.
> If indeed companies follow the route of embracing openness like IBM,
> because it helps their business, then it seems possible that the current
> view of intellectual property will increasingly be seen as archaic (at
> least as far as I understand it). For those who are not aware, IBM is one
> of the largest contributors to the Linux kernel.
> I think it comes down to the feasibility of opening up development while
> still maintaining a competitive edge. For example, would it be possible to
> set up a production line that could respond to ever-changing design
> specifications? Could businesses do this, knowing their competitors are
> doing it as well? I think that if the semantic web gains widespread
> adoption, and works as envisioned, than companies will have to think
> seriously about it. Innovation online appears to be quite effective. It may
> be hard to compete with.
> On thing that could stifle it of course, is security fears. I do hope,
> however, that greater communication leads to greater trust.
> <1> The Semantic Web of Data Tim Berners-Lee (
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeUrEh-nqtU)
> On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>wrote:
>> On 2/2/13 7:22 PM, Steven Rowat wrote:
>>> On 2/2/13 1:03 PM, Jeffrey Cliff wrote:
>>>> While I am new to this list, I think this post is dangerously
>>>> misguided.  If the problem is that the patent system is keeping groups
>>>> such as this from acheiving results, then groups like this one need to
>>>> be converted into anti-software patent, or at least
>>>> anti-these-particular-patent ones.
>>> I'm tending to agree with Jeff.
>>> I have an ancient history (circa 1990) of first getting my own patent,
>>> and after that spending 3 years ghost-writing and illustrating others'
>>> patents for a registered agent. My experiences with the patents I worked on
>>> convinced me that the system was controlled by large business and was
>>> grossly unfair to independent inventors. And I don't know that this aspect
>>> has gotten any better in the software age; perhaps worse.
>>> The day after reading Manu's post about not having discussions in
>>> recordable mediums about patents relating to this open-source work I caught
>>> myself having a daydream in which I applied for a patent whose claims would
>>> allow me the rights to software that automates the process employed by the
>>> US Patent Office. (And I think the patent system is fast approaching such a
>>> reductio ad absurdum; perhaps it's already there).
>>> OTOH, while as I said I do have a gut "Yeah!" with Jeff's approach, it
>>> seems also that the patent problem can be filed under the major problem
>>> that the USA is having with corporate control of democracy at the moment. I
>>> saw a news clip with Al Gore last night in which he said that essentially
>>> US democracy had been 'hacked' by large business. I don't think he's the
>>> first to notice this, but his phrasing catches it well for me. So fighting
>>> at just the level of the patent arm of the system is fighting against a
>>> higher power that has a lot of ammunition. The Occupy movement is
>>> essentially fighting the same battle. And to win a war like this, we have
>>> to pick fights we can win.
>>> Yet, finally, things are changing in ways we can't predict, with social
>>> media allowing new ways of organizing ourselves. Perhaps all we can do is
>>> fall back on some basics: I'd go for 'love your neighbour as yourself' and
>>> 'the end doesn't justify the means'.
>>> To me that would mean that if I felt strongly that the patent system
>>> needed complete overhaul (or even abolishment), and this is a mailing list
>>> developing patent-free, open-source technology, then discussing all patents
>>> that might be infringed by the technology would seem like a thing to be
>>> encouraged, rather than avoided.
>>> Needing to pretend publicly to not know about something that you in fact
>>> need to discuss to do your work seems unhealthy to me; and perhaps is
>>> unworkable anyway in a supposedly public mailing list.
>> +1
>> Use the power of the Web to simplify the discovery of "prior art" :-)
>> Kingsley
>>> Steven Rowat
>>>> We /should/ be posting this stuff to email groups such as this - and
>>>> to make as recordable as possible its impacts.  Not because we think
>>>> we can work around it, /not/ because it's unenforcable (in any patent
>>>> case there is a probability that it may be enforced) but because
>>>> hiding from problems [ie in this case, Apple] only allows them to
>>>> perpetuate and grow, and implicitly grants them legitimacy.  The
>>>> businesses that are going to fail to participate due to this issue
>>>> will have an additional datapoint of organized groups [in this case, a
>>>> high profile one] which have been undermined by this problem, and
>>>> hence, more visible evidence that the problem needs solving at its core.
>>>> Jeff Cliff
>>>> On 31 January 2013 14:12, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com
>>>> <mailto:msporny@digitalbazaar.**com <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>>>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>     On 01/31/2013 02:22 PM, Kumar McMillan wrote:
>>>>      >>
>>>> http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/**31/apple-patents-crowdsourced-**
>>>> peer-to-peer-mobile-banking-**that-could-use-itunes-to-**
>>>> provide-cash-on-demand/<http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/31/apple-patents-crowdsourced-peer-to-peer-mobile-banking-that-could-use-itunes-to-provide-cash-on-demand/>
>>>>      >> Can you believe this?
>>>>      >
>>>>      > As sad and depressing as this sounds, you shouldn't ever post
>>>>     patent
>>>>      >  announcements to an email list that might be associated with an
>>>>      > emerging protocol (such as what this w3c group aims for). Some
>>>> info
>>>>      > on why:
>>>>      >
>>>>      >
>>>> http://www.radwin.org/michael/**2003/02/28/why_discussing_**
>>>> patents_over_email_is_bad/<http://www.radwin.org/michael/2003/02/28/why_discussing_patents_over_email_is_bad/>
>>>>      >
>>>>      > I've done it before myself :(
>>>>     Having authored several patents by myself and having one of them
>>>>     granted
>>>>     before deciding that I never wanted to do that ever again, I have
>>>>     mixed
>>>>     feelings about this.
>>>>     Our (Digital Bazaar's) official company policy is that we don't
>>>> e-mail
>>>>     around patents, no matter how ridiculous, they're always discussed
>>>>     in a
>>>>     channel that isn't logged.
>>>>     I also fear that the "head-in-the-sand" approach will hobble this
>>>>     group.
>>>>     We need to know about the patents that exist if we are to work
>>>> around
>>>>     them for the Royalty-Free requirement of all W3C specs. The risk
>>>>     we run
>>>>     by doing that, however, is that large companies (like Yahoo, Google,
>>>>     Mozilla, etc.) might stay away from this work for that very reason.
>>>> We
>>>>     don't want to risk that either.
>>>>     So, let's try this as a compromise. If you see a patent that is of
>>>>     interest, it is up to you if you want to notify any of the editors
>>>> or
>>>>     mailing list participants OVER A NON-RECORDABLE MEDIUM. Just to be
>>>>     clear: Twitter, G+, Skype, IRC, are all recordable mediums. A
>>>>     phone call
>>>>     is best.
>>>>     Folks are free to ignore this advice on the mailing list, but know
>>>>     that
>>>>     by doing so, you're going to push some of the companies that are
>>>>     afraid
>>>>     of these sorts of damages away from participating in this group
>>>>     (and we
>>>>     really, really don't want to do that).
>>>>     -- manu
>>>>     --
>>>>     Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
>>>>     President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
>>>>     blog: Aaron Swartz, PaySwarm, and Academic Journals
>>>>     http://manu.sporny.org/2013/**payswarm-journals/<http://manu.sporny.org/2013/payswarm-journals/>
>>>> --
>>>> GENERATION 26: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on
>>>> any forum and add 1 to the generation
>> --
>> Regards,
>> Kingsley Idehen
>> Founder & CEO
>> OpenLink Software
>> Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
>> Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/**blog/~kidehen<http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen>
>> Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
>> Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/**112399767740508618350/about<https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about>
>> LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/**kidehen<http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen>
Received on Tuesday, 5 February 2013 02:10:05 UTC

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