Re: SVG & XPointer - When I write SVG code can I be sued?

In a message dated 18/01/01 16:36:40 GMT Standard Time, writes:

> On Thu, Jan 18, 2001 at 11:24:15AM -0500, wrote:
>  > But when writing anything but the most trivial SVG code we cannot avoid 
> using 
>  > "XPointer" syntax e.g. to access a filter using syntax along the lines 
>  > "filter:url(#MySpot)" - the so-called "bare bones" XPointer syntax.
>    As far as I can tell, if Sun's try to sue you because you use
>  #name addressing pattern, that's a patent I didn't heard about.
>  Please reread the context of this problem, it's string search based 
>  XPointers expressions which may infringe the patent ! No need to
>  spread more FUD on this issue.
>  Daniel


The XPointer WD of 8th January 2001 and the "Terms and Conditions" document 
of December 2000 take the issue much wider than the scope of Sun's patent. 
Perhaps that was done unintentionally. If so, I would like to suggest that 
the XPointer WG examine the issue and adapt the drafting accordingly.

I suggest you carefully re-read the "Terms and Conditions" document located 


The "Terms and Conditions" apply to ALL of XPointer, at least as far as an 
obligation to report "programming code", or the documentation of it to W3C 
and presumably thereby to Sun.

The term "Modification" in the "Terms and Conditions" document is drawn very 
widely. It says Modification "shall mean programming code, ... developed by 
or for You for use in an implementation of the syntax of the XPointer 
Specification or for use in combination with an implementation of the 
XPointer Specification, that extends, enhances, alters, otherwise changes or 
is derived from the XPointer Specification."

An SVG viewer is, I believe, an implementation of (a subset of) the XPointer 
specification. My "programming code" is intended to work "in combination" 
with it. Therefore, it seems to me that the current text imposes a legal 
obligation to report my SVG programming code to W3C.

At a minimum anyone who develops "programming code" is obliged to report this 
to W3C no later than they make it available to virtually anybody. Read 
Section 3. of the Terms and Conditions.

Isn't that what the document says?

Was it a conscious requirement of W3C to impose that reporting burden?

I sincerely hope that it doesn't mean what it seems to say. If it doesn't 
intend to impose that reporting burden then the document should be redrafted.

The document needs to be re-examined. My hope is that the very wide drafting 
of the "Terms and Conditions" was an attempt by Sun to provide reassurance 
that was "global" in scope.

If it was intended in some way to limit the legal burden of that document to 
some narrower part of XPointer then that could have been expressed more 

I ask that the XPointer WG and Sun go back to that document and re-examine 
its implications, as it is currently drafted. If, as I believe, it says 
something you may not have intended that it say then please change it or get 
Sun to change it.


Andrew Watt         

Received on Thursday, 18 January 2001 13:04:36 UTC