W3C patent policy

To who it may concern,

I have just read with dismay the current situation with the proposed
changes to the W3C's patent policy. Like many other members of the
internet community, i would like to express my opposition to the proposal.

From my understanding of the W3C's role in the development of internet
standards, one of the core principles is that of open access for all
users. This includes not only end-users of internet software, but
developers of these technologies as well, be they commerical or

I am a member of the development team of the Konqueror web browser
(http://www.konqueror.org), which is an open source project. One of the
main reasons that I am involved with this project is because I believe in
an open web that is accessible to all users, without restrictions
on the use of particular platforms or software packages. What has made
this project possible is the availability of open standards which can be
freely implemented and do not require restrictive or costly license

My concern with the idea of allowing core web standards to be owned and
controlled by corporate entities is that projects like as konqueror,
mozilla, apache and others may not be possible in a few years time, if
the technologies they need to support cannot be implemented without
paying expensive license fees, or due to other legal issues.

Open source software is vitally important to the infrastructure of the
internet, as has been proven time and time again throughout it's history.
Restricting the ability of open source developers to provide alternatives
to users will push the internet further into a comercialized environment
in which innovation is lost and users are unwillingly locked into
solutions and technologies provided by those who can pay, not those who
can innovate.

If the W3C is to stay true to it's goals, then this proposal should not go
ahead, and the standards promoted by the will W3C remain open, not closed.

Peter Kelly

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 14:53:02 UTC