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RE: [xml-dev] [Fwd: W3C ridiculous new policy on patents]
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>, email@example.com
- Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2001 11:21:46 -0500
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.
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?