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The policy works for me because it reflects
reality. Non-RF if available, RAND if gettable,
private negotiations otherwise. The decision
is made relative to the perceived value of the
patent to the importance of the specification.
Actually, that tilt will not be changed by the
policy. The idea that the web has been
driven by open source or individuals is largely
an illusion of our own making much again like
those investment bankers working hard with
the press to make the public assume all the
risk for investments which were flakey from
the get-go while they made unreasonable profits.
The patents are there. The W3C imprimatur
is only as strong as the interests of the
dues-paying members of the W3C want it to
be. When it quits serving their interests,
it will vanish like the dot.com portfolios.
This situation will get steadily worse.
Why? Right now, the webHeads are still
naively believing there is only One Evil
Empire to be defeated and can't see how
that overfocus blinds them to the ever
present dangers of buy outs, mergers,
and other means of controlling public and
If the AOL acquisition of Red Hat goes through,
it will be interesting to see how
long Red Hat sustains an interest in open
source software once AOL decides that
owning a suite of integrated applications
is a better solution to getting market
share over yetAnotherFrivolous lawsuit.
We replace our machines every two years.
Again, it won't be as hard to replace one
king of the hill with another if the
dirt underneath their feet can be made
to cascade into a landslide.
Was it better to go public to get rich, or
build up market share then sell the company?
Both ways worked until the public got wise
and quit buying.</cynicalCommentary>
If you want that freedom to innovate, you
have to design it into the specs and
standards, not depend on an authority
bound to the very companies whose existence
depend on taking and holding market share.
Pay attention to what Steve Newcomb is saying.
Even if you don't like his technical solution,
his point is right on, but even then, balancing
private control with public interests is a never-ending
From: Mike Champion [mailto:email@example.com]
The RAND policy would "tilt the playing field" in favor of the large
companies with deep pockets and extensive portfolios of patents to
cross license, thus stifling the innovation by small companies and
even individuals that has so famously driven the evolution of the