patent policy

From "W3C in 7 points"[1]:

> 1. Universal Access

Universal access means that anyone can create a program to use the W3C's
standards. Rich or poor, corporation or single developer, everyone is on
equal footing and equal opportunity. It will most likely be large
corporations who have the patents and the lawyers to defend patent

> 3. Trust

Do we trust the good will of patent holders? Unisys and GIF. The MP3
format as well. 

> 5. Evolvability

How can someone experiment with new ideas from old ways of doing if they
would have to pay to experiment. Yahoo! started in a garage; would it
have been started if they had to pay for the write to use HTML? Would
the Internet be what it was today if people had to pay to use the TCP/IP
protocol, or would we be in a world of CompuServes, AOLs, Bitnets, etc.
Separate systems with no real way to communicate between them. Would you
not be betraying those that helped create the Internet and made your
organization possible?

Would you be here if Tim Berners-Lee tried to start a commercial venture
with his new protocol instead of simply sharing it with the world?

> 6. Decentralization

Do we need more money flowing into the hands of megacorporations? Even
if a small company's proposal is accepted and they can the royalties how
soon before they are bought out? How many companies have Cisco, Nortel,
Microsoft, AOL Time-Warner, Disney, Oracle, IBM, HP-Compaq swallowed

If the patents are filed in the U.S. do companies in the the U.K have to
pay? If a software developer in Australia uses a standard and releases
a program under the BSD or GNU license does he have to pay if an American
downloads it? Which countries patent laws should be followed?

If you go through with this proposal I believe you are going against the
very nature of your organization.


David Magda <dmagda at>
Vimes pulled out his watch and stared at it. It was turning out to be 
one of those days...the sort that you got every day.
                           -- Terry Pratchett, _The_Fifth_Elephant_

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 13:57:00 UTC