RAND license *is* discriminatory...

... only those who are able to afford the royalty fee(s) will be
allowed to implement and/or use the technology.  Can you say "to
make distinctions on the basis of class or category without regard
to individual merit"?

While these proposed changes might not seem like a big deal to those
who work for or own companies that have substantial amounts of capital,
it *is* a big deal for literally thousands of smaller companies, individual 
developers, and so forth.  It isn't just open source and
free software developers who stand to get burned by royalty fees.  All
around the world there are small software companies and startups which
struggle to make ends meet.  What is a "reasonable royalty" from the 
perspective of an organization which hasn't yet turned a profit or which 
can't even afford to pay its employees for all the hours they work?  How 
about companies which have very low margins?  In today's
world where billion dollar companies dominate the news it is easy to
lose track of the fact that small companies greatly outnumber the
number of large companies.

I've always considered the W3C's efforts as the admirable pursuit of open 
standards - which serve to level the playing field and *maximize* both the 
number of users and developers.  Which is exactly what is
needed if the Internet and "web" are to continue to grow and prosper.
This new proposal of yours is totally inconsistent with that, and thus
represents a significant threat to the future of that which we all
have come to rely upon.  It appears there are over 700 objections to your 
proposal posted today.  Which is quite impressive considering the lack of 
awareness and how lazy we all are about taking the time to comment on 
things.  I sincerely hope you'll get the message.


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Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 23:01:41 UTC