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RE: [xml-dev] Comment on W3C Patent Policy WG Response
- From: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
- To: Xml-Dev <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 11:21:29 -0400
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Monday, October 15, 2001 10:03 AM
> To: Xml-Dev
> Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Comment on W3C Patent Policy WG Response
> I think in _this particular case_ that's the intent,
> certainly as far as PR is concerned.
Well, if you consider "the public" and the "open source and free software
communities" the same thing, yes ... :~) The public needs the vendors to
implement the Web technologies, and the vendors need to keep the public from
getting angry enough at them to invest the time to hassle with the
alternatives. The W3C is the arena for this balancing act; opening up the
patent policy WG strikes me as an acknowledgement that the open source folks
are collectively an alternative "vendor" that the W3C has to accomodate.
It is possible that the end-user, web surfing, Amazon-buying public doesn't
care about this issue one way or the other, or might not care if a few
dollars of their OS or app server or DBMS license goes to license patents
... they just want the bloody mess to work. I've even heard the plea "I
can't afford the people costs of free software, can't I just pay you to
support it for me?" a few times, FWIW.
I basically agree with the anti-RAND position ... but I'm concerned that it
WILL NOT get a fair hearing in the W3C unless you all address the issue on
the same terms that the W3C addresses it ... or scare hell out of them with
a credible alternative. The former is a lot easier to do than the latter!
p.s. Just noticed one of the few public defenses of the W3C draft patent
"It appears that the theory behind the proposed solution is twofold. First,
companies need to make sure that the best technology is adopted for the
standard, no matter where it came from or whether or not it is patented.
Second, the policy would seem to add transparency to the standards process,
letting developers know what to expect. This policy would allow corporations
to charge reasonable and nondiscriminatory (RAND) licensing fees evenly to
those developing upon the standard for commercial gain."