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RE: [xml-dev] [Fwd: W3C ridiculous new policy on patents]

I don't know but there are counter-revolutions.

It is probably time for some to face up to the reality 
of what a technical consortium is: you pay fees to be a member 
and in accordance with the rules of the consortium, attempt 
to influence the consortia process to the benefit of your 
business.  Did anyone really buy into the Moral Majesty 
argument?  Do you really think that business goals and 
means change simply because of Berners-Lee's reputation?

Here come da judge...

Patents and patent pools (see MPEG) are very lucrative. 
The Internet can route around a dead node but it takes a 
business decision to revive the node.  There are many ways 
that such a system is vulnerable to the economic environment 
that builds and replaces nodes.

What we have enjoyed for ten years is the investment of the 
previous years of building and replacing nodes.  We have had 
a free ride on every university that put in an Internet node 
and allowed all of the Internet traffic to cross it unimpeded by 
inspection or tariff.  It has been an Internet of open borders 
given the natural wealth of each territory and its ability to 
sustain the open traffic.   But the costs to improve that 
traffic, to offer more services to the travelers, are mounting 
and are being met by deficits.  That is a recipe for stagnation 
at best, and collapse at worst.  

Unless we are willing to nationalize these assets, or regulate 
them as public utilities, the privatization of the assets 
continues unhindered.   The W3C isn't bad; it is too weak to 
forestall this rather predictable and necessary seachange. 
Because it attempts to be a hegemony, and because the realization 
of its vulnerability comes late to that organization, it is 
unlikely to withstand these pressures for long if at all 
and its role has to be examined from the perspective of 
what it can do successfully.  As a technology incubator, 
it is successful.  As an enforcement agency for member 
behavior, it is devastatingly underpowered.

Because the Internet is global, it is difficult to envision a 
coordinated response not mediated by the power brokers of the 
global corporations, and they are not likely to view the 
"information must be free" arguments as a decent business model. 
Without profits, the web we familiar with is beginning to 
fracture with the fault lines becoming more evident in the 
non-interoperability of the systems.  This forces us to choose 
sides in the new round of not browser wars, but network 
system wars, information wars, if you like as each business 
pursues a model of profit based on encapsulation or outright 
ownership of information.

So one should begin to inquire about the nature of tariffs.  It 
is possible that the patents are the least restrictive and are 
more in accord with the rights of persons to the results of their 
efforts than the middle men system by which one collects fees 
simply to be a gatekeeper.  The second way is how the record 
business works and it is corrupt beyond your wildest imagination. 

Choose the goal and direct your own evolution.  That is what 
human free will means.


-----Original Message-----
From: Champion, Mike [mailto:Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com]

The Register (an entertaining, but not terribly reliable source) 
says:  "More positively, we understand that the coalition-building process
that takes the web standards out of the hands of any one group, particularly
one as susceptible to capture as the W3C, has already started."

Anyone know what that refers to, if anything?