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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 15:06:39 -0500
From: Champion, Mike [mailto:Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> I don't like this stuff either, Simon, but
> as ISO had to accept the PDF PAS.
>Please explain why it is a Good Thing for PDF to be an ISO standard,
>encumbered as it is by Adobe's patent. The cynic in me thinks this good
>Adobe, so that PDF is a "legal" standard for purposes of government
>contracts, and convenient for the people who have invested in PDF
>... but not a model that the Web ought to emulate.
Because it is useful. It provides a high fidelity efficient
image of the content per the author's specification.
For legal documents, this is a requirement. We recommend
it for customers that want to attach a report to email
created from a print driver.
It ain't good for much else. I fought having it
in CALS but that was a useless battle. They invented
the term "Final Fixed Format" and since no one had
a working alternative in the markup world (DSSSL was
simply too late and too complicated and not supported),
we lost the battle. Note that: a defense against
patents is equivalent alternatives. Where such
do not exist, it is hard to defend not allowing
the RAND. It is not just who is rewarded, but who
is penalized. Berners-Lee has used the rule of
independent invention. Can that be applied where
one cannot find an alternative?
Let me ask, why did ISO accept XML given that it
would be owned by the W3C?
Answer: it is a useful thing to have.
One could say, "of course, the W3C was waaay
powerful and could take it anyway". One, they couldn't unless we
supported it, and two, they would be what we aren't
willing to support. Willing counts for a lot and
what we are seeing in the RAND is in that sense, a
measure of willingness. Unless RAND is possible,
some parties will be unwilling to go forward in
some W3C WGs just as they weren't willing to
join the W3C unless the closure rules we dislike
were put into place. I believe that is part of the
"ease of capture" mentioned earlier.
So, how far are folks willing to go with the W3C
given such rules?
I don't like it but am not surprised at all. The
dot.bomb did more than evaporate capital; it narrowed
options for those whose capital it made disappear.
The web is not an entity. It doesn't emulate. That
mote is in our eyes. We have to come to grips
with it as it is: an unruly collective of willful
participation, a marketplace of competitors with
different rules even if overlapping goals. Some
cooperate because it in their best interest. Most
will not see loss of patent revenue as being in
their best interest. Best for all if we faced that squarely.