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[xml-dev] About W3C patent policy

Hello everyone,

I was recently browing over the patent policy, especially the comments of
Steven Newcomb just before seems very appropriate. Let me comment and say
a few things, which I have learnt in the last 3 years or so. (Again, I
just glanced at the developments, and do not have a very clear
understanding as to why this policy is being pursued.)

a) I hope W3C's interest is to improve the web technologies. The interest
of an organization is *almost always* reflected by the opinions and the
feelings of the core-members -- I hope these core members of W3C really
work towards the progress of web technologies -- self interests are fine,
as long as they do *not* interfere with the main purpose.

b) W3C has come up with technologies that do not complement each other --
I believe there are a large section of the population, whose interest lies
purely in xml schema languages and xml query languages -- i suspect this
forms a major chunk of the research and academic people, who are
interested in challenging problems.

It is a sad truth that W3C's XML Schema specification and XML Query
Specification are not for each other -- i wonder how the two groups are
trying to make them work together. For example, Peter Fankhauser of Query
WG is coming up with wierd reasons why XML Schema might be suitable for
XML Query, which on second thoughts sound so unreasonable (purely my

c) If the goal of this patent policy is to make impossible things happen
-- like the combining of XML Schema and XML Query, then I would suggest
that this should not be undertaken -- W3C specifications, to the best of
my knowledge, has come up with the active participation of several people,
several non-members included. I would suggest W3C position itself as a
co-ordinator of all the effort, rather than claim itself as the inventor.

d) Also, I believe that there are always people who interpret rules in
their own ways, and try to find out loop-holes. I hope the patent policy
does not lead to this.

In short, I believe that as one of the co-ordinators of web technology
specifications, the W3C core-members are in a better position to decide
whether such a patent policy is required or not for its technologies. I
also hope they do it for a noble reason, and not to damage the field --
for me, combining W3C's XML Schema specification, with XML Query is one of
the ways of damaging the field.

However, I am concerned about the needs for such a policy at this stage,
and am personally always *againt* the patent procedure -- the amount of
innovation in a patented technology that is difficult for another human
being to come up with independently by himself/herself is questionable.

cheers and regards - murali.