W3C Patent Policy

Firstly let me quote from the W3C in seven points

"One of W3C's primary goals is to make these benefits available to all
people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure,
native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental

I question the introduction of royalty bound patents into a standards
body. Introducing a standard which the end user will end up paying for
defeats the purpose for which the W3C was formed. 

Please you will allow me to play "what-if" to make my point.

If, for example, GIF was the only standard for web based graphics,
Unisys's persual of their patent would remove graphics from all
non-profit web sites, and from numerous company web sites that could not
afford the royalty charge.

If, for example, MIME was patented and we had to pay royalties for each
email we send, how widespread would email be?

If, for example, a commonly used, yet to be decided, web technology was
patented, and freed to the W3C, but with the condition that a logo was
attached every time it was used, every web page using it would be
branded to a corporate standard. If the patent holder decided to remove
rights from web pages which insulted it, then we have a loss of
expression, or the freedom of speech so beloved of Americans, due to the
fact that you, the W3C allowed a company's patents to become a web

I shall refrain from commenting on the authors of the framework, it is,
after all, expected for companies to look out for themselves and not the
users, however your lack of a resonable comment/feedback time and the
lack of publicity for this discussion smacks of railroading a bad
decission through by keeping it hidden.

Frankly this is a horrible idea, for the web, for web software houses
(excluding those who hold the patents obviously) and most importantly
for users.

Barry Dorrans
(speaking personally, not on behave of his employeer)

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 13:25:59 UTC