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RE: [xml-dev] RAND issues

This position eliminates most MPEG/MHEG liaison efforts, yes?


-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Bray [mailto:tbray@textuality.com]

I think that those standards which have to live in the
space where you might have to pay a toll to use them are 
precisely those which W3C should stay away from.  Yes they
exist - e.g. the IEEE standardizes lots of things which you
have to pay patents to use - but the reason the Web is 
interesting is that anyone can play without having to pay 
for permission.  I'm not interested in playing RAND games.  
I'm not interested in a Web where Open-Source efforts are 
second-class citizens.

I think that the W3C should adopt a policy of involving itself
only with RF patents, recognize that this is difficult and
complicated, and just deal with it.  Tools that are available
to achieve this goal include:

- requiring diligent search and disclosure from all members,
  not just those who participate in particular WGs, for IP
  that may stand in the way of some task or another
- where such IP exists and the holder isn't willing to grant
  RF, changing the standard to work around the IP
- use of the bully pulpit and any other leverage the W3C can 
  bring to bear to make it very painful for anyone who tries to 
  set up a tollbooth on W3C output
- declining to enter standardization activities where it 
  appears that RF status can't be achieved
I think this is very important. -Tim