Proposed move to fee based standards

My name is David Stidolph, and I have been a software Engineer for
almost twenty years.  I have worked with pretty much every eight bit
computer made, and with the industry, made the move to more and more
powerful machines.  All of my work has been for companies where the code
I generate was proprietary and I can share none of it.  These include
game companies, financial companies, network development and one law
firm software company.  In all those years I have used your work - http,
ftp, etc, standards to develop company work.  By using existing
standards it allowed me to generate data with over the counter tools and
bring products quicker to market.

Many times I have need to use graphics in programs.  It would have been
VERY useful and speedy to use GIF pictures because of their common usage
in web browser, however, because of the UniSys patent I have been unable
to use that standard.  Part of the problem is royalty or fees - the
larger part of the problem is the paperwork involved in paying that
money.  In the case of Unisys it meant faxing paperwork signed by our
lawyers to their lawyers, and negotiations - which take far too much

As a standards body people look to you for guidance.  If you start
charging for your standards, it will kill most open source projects.  It
will kill the sharing of ideas.  If companies can gain nothing from
sharing knowledge, then they will stop sharing.  This has been the
silent grease in the wheels of progress for the last twenty years.

Please do not start charging royalties.  charge fees for access, charge
fees for membership, charge fees for whatever you can, but please do not
start more software patent issues.  The small software business and
developers out that will not survive.

Thank you for your attention,

David Stidolph
Austin, TX

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 16:47:50 UTC