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Re: (Second) Last Call for XPointer 1.0

Daniel Veillard wrote:

 > Why should W3C differ from the industry in this case ? If everybody
 > consider the claim invalid, why should it be W3C which would go
 > through the expensive action of fighting it if the patent itself is
 >  moot ?

Not the point.

Assume the patent is going to be ruled invalid someday.  Then a
company can decide, "Well, I'll wait till Sun sues me for infringement,
and then deal with it."  Sun having a weak case, and patent suits
being even more fearsomely expensive than other lawsuits, this is
probably safe.  (Under American rules, each party has to pay
for its own legal expenses.)

But now the W3C is going to issue XPointer with a restrictive license
that *forces* people who so much as download the spec to return any
XPointer modifications to W3C.  Even if the patent were ruled invalid,
those people would still be bound by the W3C license!  Furthermore,
one need take no affirmative action to accept the license: just being
sent the XPointer spec purports to bind the recipient to the terms.

*That* is unacceptable.   What would happen if SGML, say, required
that anyone implementing extensions to the specification had to
return documentation of their extensions to the ISO WG to be
incorporated into the next version of SGML?  Howls and screams.

 > Now, if you want to implement something different than XPointer you
 > may have issues with Sun's patent, but this must not block
 > XPointer, right ?

If you want to implement XPointer *au pied de la lettre*, then fine.
But if you want to add extensions (such as your own XPath functions),
you are bound by the license.

There is / one art             || John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
no more / no less              || http://www.reutershealth.com
to do / all things             || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein