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RE: [xml-dev] RAND issues

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

At 01:35 PM 05/10/01 -0500, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
>>So one can assume that when a technology for which 
>>Oracle holds patents comes up for standardization, 
>>Oracle will (pick one)
>>1.  Give up rights to royalties from its competitors, or
>>2.  Ensure that WG is never approved

>These are both reasonable outcomes.  

And if Oracle's competitors who are also W3C members 
believe it is vital to their health to have these 
standards, Oracle's refusal to enable the WG will 
be allowed to stand?  Or if a competitor decides it 
is tactically sound to form such a WG for the purpose 
of publicly humiliating Oracle, these are both 
"reasonable outcomes"?

I think you underestimate all that can be "squeezed 
out of patents".  The game is for the patient and well 

>The *unacceptable* outcome is that there is eventually
>a piece of infrastructure with the W3C imprimatur that you 
>have to pay toll to Oracle to use." 

Perhaps so for the underfunded small developer. For the 
large developer, MPEG licenses are a cost of business 
and reasonable and non-discrimanatory licenses a standard 
practice.  I hate to see the W3C reduced to creating 
only specifications for low level technologies for 
which there are only ever a few implementations needed.

I've also seen large buildings emptied and the families 
of the former occupants move away when a BigCo with 
a monopoly decided to freely take the patented IP of a 
smaller company then deprive it of technical information 
vital to remaining a competitor.  It can cut both ways.