I'm surprised that the w3c will allow patents to restrict www technology to 
companies or organisations able to pay licenses.

The internet and the www was/is built uppon open and freely available procols 
and standards. Allowing patents on such protocols and standards will by 
necessity have a chilling effect upon the net, and particularily projects 
such as Linux and Apache. Since these projects have no money by themselves, 
and are community projects, a fork in the www will probably follow as these 
projects will then have to invent "patent" free versions of such technology 
as you propose to cover with RAND. 

I cannot but compare this to other aspects of the Intelectual Property (IP) 
trends whereby big bussines (especialy in the US) tries to comercialize and 
commoditize (in the Marxian sense) what used to be free commons. The patents 
and IP trends now comming out of Hollywood/MS is such that I can not but 

In many cases I have seen; software patents are such obvious things that they 
are an affront to common sense (amazons one click i.e).  If I compare this 
suggestion (RAND) to my own field, archaeology, it is as if some 
archaeologist having found a nice old grave would then go and charge people 
for the right to see it. He/she would be booted out of the profession pretty 

Please; an organization like w3c is not only of use and service to big 
business, but should be a protector and creator of standards and protocols as 
a commons; belonging to a collective humanity! The way the www has been a 
combatzone between browsers these last 10 years shows the need for you, but 
only if you are not in the pocket of the great, mighty and rich. 


Lars Forseth

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 16:15:11 UTC