No to RAND!

I think Alan Cox said it best when he stated:

"A patent-encumbered web threatens the very freedom of intellectual 
debate, allowing only large companies and big media houses to present 
information in certain ways. Imagine where the web would be now if only 
large companies were able to use image files." 

The W3C is a standards body which has already often been ignored by the 
major players during the past 'standards' wars between Netscape and 
Microsoft - while a motion to support for-fee patents technology in the 
WWW will certainly be greeted well by the major players (who are, after 
all, behind it), it will also render the W3C body almost as irrelevant 
as ICANN is quickly becoming - and into nothing else but merely yet 
another lapdog of the major industry players, and certainly of Microsoft.

Personally, I strongly recommend against this - lest W3C wants to be 
part of yet another longwided effort by 'the industry' to wasted 
millions of dollars with failing efforts to control an open and free 
resource of information. Like all prior efforts, any such efforts will 
fail, it's just a question how much money will be wasted this time by a 
great many industry participants.

The true question, economically speaking, is "couldn't these millions be 
used more productively?", as in polishing existing software, making 
existing products actually work (not just work better), better 
interactivity between products and support for standards, and, above all 
else, better *content* instead of better control over content.

So far, I hate to say it, but all content that these big players try to 
control isn't, for the most part, worth controlling, as it's crap - just 
like most movies produced nowadays, most music, and most 'content' 
websites (albeit the death of dot.coms has reduced those numbers 
significantly). If these control-freaking idiots would spend efforts to 
provide better content, and treat their customers with more respect 
(instead of assuming their are all thieves), maybe they would do better 
in general, instead of hemorrhaging money, and trying to distract from 
their own incompetences by pursuing pointless projects bound to fail 
(SDMI, anyone?)

Will the public outrage have any efect? Of course not.


Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 14:49:20 UTC