RAND will hurt the W3C and the Internet.

All RAND will do is establish a 'separate but equal' system where
a group of 'haves' with money will control the internet and subjugate
the 'have nots'.  These very have nots are the ones who built the
internet based on free access to standards, where they could build
on the work of others, thus creating a system that was greater
than the sum of the parts.  RAND will destroy this because
people will be prevented from innovating, not from a lack of ideas,
but because they don't have the capital to pay licensing fees.

There are plenty of other standards organizations that work on a RAND
bases.  W3C and IETF stand out because they don't allow license fees
to be charged.  Change this rule and W3C becomes insignificant.
It will no longer speak for the community and will wither.

We have seen what happens to technologies that are encumbered by
Gif and MP3 both have held back the community because of the license
issue.  The community should learn from these mistakes, they shouldn't
adopt patented technologies. It is perfectly OK for a company to patent
its invention and license it, but it is not OK for W3C to put a stamp
of approval on fees for implementing standards.

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 21:42:35 UTC