Patents and royalties are the antithesis of the Web's openness


I am severely disappointed to learn that the W3C is pursuing a plan to
allow patented technologies to gain the approval and recommendation of
the W3C.  This is a serious departure from the openness and
accessibility that the W3C has championed to date.

The current proposal, to allow RAND fee-based access to standards, is
disingenuous.  There are countless users of the existing W3C standards
who would never be able to contribute to the community and wealth of
human interaction were it not for the royalty-free, unrestricted
implementations they can use and create.

I am firmly of the opinion that the credibility and value of the W3C
mark will be irreparably diminished if it becomes associated with access
restrictions that patents bring.  The hypocrisy of purporting to have
non-discriminatory access to a standard, and the reality that attaching
*any* fee to implementation of an idea is discriminatory to many who
would contribute, is appalling.

The W3C is in a position of great respect in the community, but this is
only maintained through your vigilant upholding of free access to
technology standards.  Allow that to falter, and I fear the W3C, and its
goals, will be unthinkably damaged.

 \        "I installed a skylight in my apartment. The people who live |
  `\                          above me are furious!"  -- Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |  F'print 9CFE12B0 791A4267 887F520C B7AC2E51 BD41714B

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 23:14:39 UTC