RAND policy

Quote from "Linux Today" followed by my comments:

The W3C has recognised the pressures from (some of) its members to be able 
to exploit the potentially lucrative Internet-related patents they have 
been accumulating. There appears to be a resignation that it may be better 
for the W3C to promote standards that have non-free conditions attached 
rather than to receive no consensus on potential recommendations.

In my opinion, this threatens to weaken the status of the W3C and force the 
development of a new body to promote free standards.  If I wanted to write 
free software to perform a function considered high-level, I could not do 
so using a W3C standard that required the payment of a license fee.  Also, 
under RAND conditions, there would be no possibility of obtaining a waiver.

In my opinion, if there is no way to reach a concensus on a particular 
standard without allowing for the requirement of a licensing fee, then the 
W3C should not produce a standard.  As always, any company can try to have 
their own proprietary process become a de facto industry standard without 
the saction of a W3C endorsement.  I don't see why the W3C should be used 
as advertising for a proprietary standard that profits one company in 

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 17:33:40 UTC