Re: The Open Source Initiative OSI letter of comment on W3C's proposed RAND policy.


> Am I a proponent of RAND?  No.  I was one of only three AC Reps that voted
> against RAND.  However, arguments such as the one below does not help the
> cause.

I really appreciate you voted against RAND as it stands today.  I am
that there is finally opportunity of a rational debate on an open forum.

> This is insane!  Saying that I, as a holder of intellectual property, lose
> my rights because *you* decided to give away *your* code is nonsensical.
> How about this: I decide to let people live in my house for free;
> you must give away your house.

How would you feel if as the builder of houses you couldn't sell your houses
if they were not built to conform to a given standard and oh by the way the
owners of IP in that standard would determine how much you need to pay
them after the fact?  After the house building community worked in good
on the standard in the belief that it would benefit all, and allow
on the basis of who could do the best job building houses?

From the best that I can tell, people are contributing to VoiceXML and using
it to build tools and products without the owners of IP yet telling them how
much they are going to owe them until after they are done and commited.
To me, this is insane, it is an issue that should be resolved before going

If a 'standard' is being created, especially by a body such as the W3C that
founded on freely implementable standards which have produced the wealth and
opportunity of the internet for all, it either should not contain IP or if
the standard
is used in an open source implementation, the IP should be in the public
I don't believe that anybody is questioning the payment of reasonable
(which needs to be defined) when the standard is used in a for profit

Public domain products and for profit products compete daily in our market
place.  Isn't the point of standards to create a level playing field, to
a method for customers to judge products against a standard?  To create a
foundation to build the next level of infrastructure?  To advance the state
of the art and create a foundation were better quality products are produced
based on competition?  Open source hasn't taken away the ability to make
a profit or competition, infact I'd argue that it has created a larger
for all and created tremendous opportunity.

I would contend that if a holder of IP isn't willing to allow their IP to be
in the public domain for open source projects, their IP shouldn't be in the
standard.  If this means there isn't a standard, then so be it.  If a
is successful, the IP holder would likely realize a benefit as the overall
market would grow as would their share of it.  Enforcing an IP is nothing
more than inhibiting competion, based on the fear that the holder cannot
compete on a level playing field.

It basically comes down to this.  The holders of IP need to determine if
are better off maintaining control of their IP and charging for it or
it to the community to be used in standards and open source projects to grow
and enhance the over market and their potential share of the larger market.
The creators of standards such at the W3C need to be firm and only create
standards that benefit all, that allow the market to be enhanced.   This is
basis on which the internet grown and flourished, an open community with
open standards, where people and companies are free to compete on ability.


Received on Friday, 16 November 2001 09:31:29 UTC