New patent policy


I am deeply disturbed by the new proposed patent policy.  Patents would let
large companies to create proprietary standards that smaller players or free
software cannot access.  I always thought that W3C was created so that this
would not happen, and now it wants to promote this behaviour.

A 'standard' is something everyone should use.  But that how can there be
fair competition in such market if the standard is owned by a single company.

Another note on the 'non discriminatory' buzzword:  Any patent fee is
discriminatory.  Imagine a free software developer that is a student (such as
me).  I cannot, and will not pay thousands of dollars for a 'license' to use
an idea.  Not to mention that I would not be able to make such software
truly free software because it would still be restricted by the patent.  Or
imagine countries in the poorer part of the world.  They may not be able to
afford the license fees.  So any patent will broaden the divide between the
west and the developing world.  Thus I believe any such policy is unfair and
also racist.

Most of the web runs on free software.  So, how did such policy come about?
The only way I can answer this is that some large unnamed company wants to
push it's web server unfairly.  They should compete by making a better
product, not by making it impossible for free software to compete.


George <>
   Where all men think alike, no one thinks very much.
                       -- Walter Lippmann

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 12:58:32 UTC