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Don't forget that now the key players of the web are no more small
and innovative companies. Basically a small dynamic and innovative
company can't play a role in a patent free standard. It gets wiped
out of the market in few months by big companies. That's why a
royalty free standard serves big companies interests more than
small developpers ones.
Of course, the exagerated use of patents is THE big problem and a
cleaner granting process would be helpful.
Finally, open source shall not be opposed to RAND. For instance,
in MPEG, reference softwares are open source. It is even mandatory
to provide an open source software otherwise the technology can't be
introduced within the standard.
Rick Jelliffe wrote:
> From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > 1. The web would not have emerged without non-royalty
> > based standards
> > This is undecidable.
> I don't think so. The WWW is a vaneer of access on top of the
> Internet, and the Internet is basically built on royalty-free
> standards. If any one company had owned this access vaneer,
> other competitors would not have adopted it.
> Also, the WWW is different from, say, CDs and the Phillips/Sony
> royalty, because that is basically a hardware patent not software.
> The WWW is not as much a medium as it is content.
> > 2. The open source community health is of vital importance
> > to the success of the web.
> > This is undecidable.
> It depends on what you mean by success. What if
> open source (and free) community health *is* the metric of the
> success of the web, or if free access to information is?
> As with vaccines so with standards: the amount that
> a technology ican be used to make a buck is not a sign of
> its successfulness.
> > 3. "process of standards creation should not be contorted,
> > subverted, and otherwise compromised by the private goals of
> > individuals or companies seeking to incorporate their patented
> > ideas into public standards"
> > This is paranoia.
> Yes, it is not the patent per se, but whether the patent is effectively
> handed over to the community. But it is not paranoid. As a
> software developer, I have to waste a deal of time doing
> patent searches to make sure that I am not infringing: Adobe's
> latest success in the MacroMedia case is a good example --
> it is just plain wrong for the US legal system to grant world
> monopoly rights on simple combinations of widgets. When I
> am king of the world, I will revoke all patents which were
> not the result of more than three years and $5,000,000 research.
> > 4. "unsustainable patents are increasing at an alarming rate,
> > swelling the patent portfolios of large companies dedicated to
> > stockpiling their arsenals of (they say) "defensive patents."
> > The first part of this is only decidable if the criteria for
> > "unsustainable" can be enumerated.
> How about all software patents, for a start!
> > The second part is paranoia. There is not proof that any
> > companies large or small or individual are "dedicated" to
> > stockpiling patents. Observation of behaviors does not
> > constitute proof of intent.
> Well, I used to work for a US company who decided, at one stage,
> not to persue its manufacturing and sales arms to concentrate
> on getting revenue from its patents. And wasn't it Amazon who
> had a strategy of grabbing as many patents as it could. I have
> been involved in some patent discussions recently, and the lawyers
> definitely told me that one reason to get patents was to ward off
> attack from other patents: if your product infringes their patent,
> then probably their product will infringe yours, so you can cross-license
> out of it.
> > 4. "implementation of open standards should not be impeded by
> > negative incentives arising from the legal requirement..."
> > The law is the law.
> The US law is not the rest of the world's law. But the size of
> the US market forces consideration of US law everywhere.
> > o RAND will stifle innovation and reduce choice
> > This is paranoia.
> Surely you cannot be serious, Len. When there is only one
> known way to move forward, and that way is impeded,
> innovation must be stifled. Only when there are multiple
> ways to move forward, then impediments to the primary
> route will trigger innovation on other fronts.
> Rick Jelliffe
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