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I am writing to express my concern about the proposed change in W3C patent 
policy.  Specifically, the RAND licensing model would legitimize the 
incorporation of royalty licensed patents into standards issued by the W3C.

While it is true that the W3C should have a policy to deal with the 
"inevitable increase in patent issues that will come before individual WGs 
and the Membership as a whole," I believe that such a policy must not include 
standardizing intellectual property which is not available royalty-free.  In 
particular, there is no fee which is resonable for developers of free 
software (GPL, BSD, etc.)  Free software development is often not at all 
associated with money in any form.  

The non-discrimanatory clause thus makes only two reasonable schemes possible 
under RAND.  One is a royalty free license scheme.  This scheme already 
exists, and thus RAND is unnecessary.  The second scheme would be for a true 
percentage based royalty.  The only royalty that standardized patents should 
claim should be a percentage of profit.  In this case, RAND should be more 
specifically worded, transforming "reasonable" to "based on percentage of 

I hope you find my comments useful in your deliberations.  Thank you for your 

Burt Betchart
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Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 13:30:37 UTC