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Re: [xml-dev] Re: W3C ridiculous new policy on patents

"Bullard, Claude L (Len)" wrote:
> The Internet is NOT a commons.  It never has been.  That was a dream
> some had and promoted to others.  They forgot to mention the
> millions of dollars spent by the US to develop it and then
> present it as a gift for commercialization in 1990/91.  Every
> university machine, every router, every PC out there cost
> someone something.  Do what you will with what is yours to do it with
> but the costs for the 'net are being passed on to the consumers.
> Ask Yahoo about their new business model.
Your argument proves that the internet was not free of development cost,
it doesn't prove it wasn't a commons. We're arguing about what business
model best supports the development costs of the internet. So-called
economic "realists" were horrified (I know, I saw their faces) when I
explained that this new-fangled internet thingie made it as cheap to
retrieve a document from the other side of the globe as from up the
road. They assumed that bandwidth was a scarce resource of diminishing
returns - in fact it is a scarce resource of increasing returns, so that
the more "inefficiently" we price it (so that pricing encourages users
to "squander" it) the cheaper and more plentiful it becomes.

In a free market no-one has a right to profit, but everyone has a right
to try to make a profit. If I, as a tax payer, and consumer, prefer to
support my internet habit by having tax-funded universities donate IP to
the common wealth and supporting companies that support unencumbered 
technologies, rather than by paying tolls to monopolistic corporations,
then that's my right. Unless you can prove that this business model
won't work - and you haven't yet, which isn't surprising, since it is
the business model underlying internet technology so far - I'll keep
fighting that corner. Companies and states alike are here to serve
humans, not vice-versa.