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   RE: [xml-dev] Facts to Support RAND? was: Re: [xml-dev] more patent fun

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People should read David Turner's article first. 
He makes cogent arguments, and experience shows
the value of patent licensing over surrendering 
rights to other companies (See Intel vs Intergraph) 
without complaint.  The part Simon quoted is the 
conclusion, but not the whole case.  Without 
looking for threats, one might summarize that 
given RF-only, it is not that the W3C will cease  
to be a spec-producing organization, but that 
the class of technologies for which it is able 
to offer RF specifications narrows considerably 
and possibly, so will its membership.  Ok, we 
just have to accept that if we want RF-only.


Are the trends you think applicable from the W3C 
spec adoption sustainable in the future?  IOW, is 
that a merely historical or an inevitable trend? 

I'm not for patents in W3C specs, but I think your 
argument has holes.  It depends on greed too, 
and in a money game, there are other strategies. 

The argument revolves around creating market with 
standards, not creating products for which a market 
has already been created or for truly innovative 
products which are easily sold but readily copied 
so patented.

W3C specs related originally to pieces of the infrastructure 
that were tough to market without giving them away. 
There are products that are more successful if 
other companies can build them correctly at low 
to no cost. Browsers were thought to be that, but 
aren't.  They are loss leaders. HTTP servers are 
a good example of the kind of tech that an RF-spec 
can make more attractive:  a commodity with no value
unless adopted widely. 

What about others?   If the property is interesting 
enough that a lot of companies want to produce it to sell 
instead of give away or simply package into 
other products for good will, it's more profitable 
to patent and license than to go even the RAND route. 
Patent licensing is lucrative in the extreme.  Much 
better than RANDing.  RANDing forces one to be 
"reasonable and non-discriminatory".  Patent 
licenses don't have that impact.

Does that pass the bottle to everyone?  

No.  We may not see a decent binary XML because MPEG 
encumbered the best idea first.  Perfectly legal.  Good for 
all concerned; no, but we can't make them care.

Pick your goose accordingly but this comes down to 
following one that leads to eggs.  In at least 
some cases, you may be following a gander.


From: Patrick Durusau [mailto:pdurusau@emory.edu]

Until someone can make the case that RAND based web standards will have 
the same adoption curve as present W3C standards, the minority of 
vendors who might profit from RAND would do well to contain their greed. 
They could well be about to kill the goose that is laying golden eggs.


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