W3C Patent Policy


I think that the W3C incorporating a "non-discriminatory" license to patents
does just the opposite -

Lets take a look at open source, shall we?

According to a Netcraft survey (http://www.netcraft.com/survey/) taken in
July 2001, 60% of the internet's web servers STILL RUN APACHE.  The reasons
for this? It is fast, cheap, and secure.  The reason it is all three of
these  is it is OPEN SOURCE.  If the W3C began considering patented
technology for standards, and incorporated those standards into core web
systems (example: secure, uncopyable web page) then, if that technology uses
some server-side component, Apache, the LONG TIME leader in web servers,
would be LEFT OUT IN THE COLD and hence, discriminated against.

Granted, that may the whole point for this move - the authors are from some
of the largest IT companies in the US - Microsoft (well, their IP law firm),
Apple Computer, and HP. That's fine.  It is also counter to the goals of the

(quoting from http://www.w3.org/Consortium/#goals)
"W3C's long term goals for the Web are:

	1) Universal Access: To make the Web accessible to all by promoting
technologies that take into account the vast differences in culture,
education, ability, material resources, and physical limitations of users on
all continents;

	2) Semantic Web : To develop a software environment that permits each user
to make the best use of the resources available on the Web;

	3) Web of Trust : To guide the Web's development with careful consideration
for the novel legal, commercial, and social issues raised by this

So unless the W3C wants to become a hypocrisy and a joke, either this
proposal has to go, or the original goals have to go.  I'd hate to see the
goals change.  W3C has provided an amazing service to the web community, and
if its goals change, I'm afraid that service would cease to exist.

Don't get me wrong - I am a small business owner and as a small business
owner I understand the value of intellectual property as much as if not more
than a large company. If my business model is based on my IP, then with it I
make money, without it, I fall into the (if I'm not mistaken) 95% of
companies that close their doors within the first five years of existence.
HOWEVER, I don't think that STANDARDS should be based on patented
technologies unless the patent owner freely licenses it to anyone who uses
the standard.

Thank you,
Chavous P. Camp

Chavous P. Camp
Salter & Camp Consultants, Ltd. Co.
(803) 551-5711
(208) 207-0204 fax

Internet Application Development

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 13:22:11 UTC