Objections to RAND.

I hope that this email will still be considered on time for inclusion in
the public comment to RAND.

There is almost no time left. I just read the story for the first time
ever in a public forum a few minutes ago.

About the Non-Discriminatory issue of this draft I would like to mention
that it hardly serves such a purpose. It is discriminatory from the
moment that it applies to everyone the same. Not everyone can afford
whatever any company having a patent on one of the Recommendations of
the W3C wishes to charge. I am not talking here only of Open Source
projects, most of them with no income whatsoever, but of small companies
too. Small garage companies that are still able to bring products to
light that can compete with software powerhouses.

In any event, a small company could be crushed by the bigger players by
simply allowing them to issue a "non-discriminatory" fee that a small
company could not afford. I do not know at this moment if there are any
details in the proposal that might prevent such behaviour (no time to

I also believe that the W3C should not involve itself with promoting
"crippled" standards. The WWW has been a profound change in our society
since its inception. I reckon that one of the big reasons for that has
been the availability of 'unencumbered' standards for every one to use
in a public medium. I can hardly imagine any software today that doesn't
have, in one way or another, code that uses parts of recommendations
issued by the W3C. The adoption of RAND licensed recommendations could
hamper the usefulness of what the W3C has achieved until now.

There is also something 'illegitimate' with the recommendation
proceedings. The period for comment went unnoticed by everyone. There is
proof by just looking at the replies sent to the email address that you
set up for such a purpose. Since the news made it to public forums on
the 29th of September you have received over 600 replies. In the
previous month and a half you have hardly received none (and the ones
you received were not even related). This in and on itself should at
least make you think about allotting more time for public debate. If
this has been brought about with any idea of righteousness or believe in
success, no public scrutiny should harm it. Then again, that is probably
the reason why it has gone unnoticed.

I would urge the W3C that so well has serve the internet at large for
some time now to reconsider this proposal or at least to listen to the
public by extending the period for comments, while making an effort now
and in the future to make sure that times for public opinion are really

Jose Fandos

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 21:56:02 UTC