Don't destroy the open web!

Lectori Salutem,

As a long term user of the web, I've come to respect W3C's efforts to
prevent the web falling apart into mutually incompatble systems. While not
always successful (many sites still rely on vendor "extensions"), the W3C
has so far had the impartiality and openness to ensure the web would
continue to be founded on open standards rather than become dominated by the
interests of proprietary software vendors.

I'm shocked and dismayed to learn that W3C is seriously considering
weakening its stance on software patents to allow W3C recommendationts to be
covered by patents under RAND licensing terms.

If this change takes place, W3C willingly and actively disposes of its
vendor neutrality, and its recommendations will lose their value to the free
software community. The free software community has proven itself capable of
setting up open standards and open implementations where vendors attempted
to end free standards (cf. the X11R6 license change and the XFree86
project's response), but it is also acutely aware of the duplication of
effort such actions require. Please do not force the free software community
to take such steps.

I urge you to do your utmost to prevent further fragmentation of the web by
continuing to keep W3C recommendations implementable as free software
without requiring payment to patent holders and thereby keeping the W3C
relevant as the web's standards body and allowing the free software
community to continue to help make the web accessible to all, in particular
to those in the developing world.

Ray Dassen
LEADERSHIP  A form of self-preservation exhibited by people with auto-
destructive imaginations in order to ensure that when it comes to the crunch 
it'll be someone else's bones which go crack and not their own.       
    - The Hipcrime Vocab by Chad C. Mulligan    

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 10:20:28 UTC