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4/22/02 10:02:26 AM, Matthew Gertner <email@example.com> wrote:
>Anyway, the W3C confidentially policy extends far beyond the opening of
>discussion lists. As far as I can tell, any discussion of activities with
>outside parties is uniformly banned. I've never heard any even slightly
>plausible justification for this. I have seen many instances of the
>unfortunate and very negative effects of this policy, both on the reputation
>of the W3C as a forum and on the actual technical discussions, which are
>thereby deprived of a lot of useful outside input, contact with potential
>early adopters, etc.
>The only theory that I can come up with to explain this is a conspiracy one:
>the W3C wants to maximize the incentive of parties to pay the $5,000-$50,000
>membership fees. I'm not saying that this is the case, but if it were I can
>certainly understand why they would be hesitant to admit it.
Try another possibility: imagine that you're a representative of a publicly traded corporation. If
you know that everything you say in a working group meeting, etc. is going to be made available to
the public, then legally you have to ask, every time you say something, if it could be interpreted as
a "forward-looking statement" and if so, you need to disclaim it with a lot of legal verbiage. And
you have to consider what effect it might have on your company's stock price. The result is that you
wind up getting instructions on how to talk from your company's general counsel, and the result of
following those instructions is going to be to insert a great deal of vapor into what you say.