RAND => effectively proprietary standard

W3C should continue to produce open standards that can be freely
implemented, or else not produce them at all.  A standard that requires
licensing patents, even under RAND terms, prevents open source
programmers from adhering to the standard.  Considering the web's
heritage, this would be a sad direction to see W3C go.

Companies that contribute to standards should be required to guarantee
royalty-free license for technology they wish to promote through
inclusion in W3C standards - including all future patent claims.  If
they are not willing to do so, then they can continue to enjoy their
exclusive right to the technology - but will suffer in that their
technology will not be adopted as part of the free, open standard.

We must not see another GIF fiasco.  We should require that use of or
contribution to a W3C standard requires forgoing all patent claims,
present and future, on technologies described in the standard.

Jonathan Graehl 

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 02:49:18 UTC