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

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1.  The MPEG patents aren't U.S. IPR.  Red herring, Rick.

    BTW, I agree that the copyright laws are becoming ever more
    absurd.  Apparently so did Ginsburg but stated rightly, it is 
    not their job to set policy for Congress.  OTOH, anyone 
    who thinks that the international systems for patents will vanish 
    in an act of good will toward the Internet or for the particular 
    good of open source software simply isn't in business.  Stock 
    holders would eviscerate the CEOs and boards.  Still, no rule holds 
    in all cases.  AIDS drugs are not in the same category as Internet 
    product specifications.  But they aren't cheap either and until 
    they are, means must be found among and between pharmaceutical 
    corporations and governments to see to it that these are provided 
    to those in need.  The same isn't true of Pentium processors.

2.  European, Japanese, etc. patent laws are just as enforced. 
    China is beginning to enforce these laws as well as part 
    of honoring trade agreements.  The bad taste comes of theft.

3.  The main point is that an RF-only policy, no exceptions, 
    simply makes the choice easy.  Don't submit innovative technology 
    because it will be more profitable and easier to use the patent 
    laws.  So where it might have been "the right thing to do", 
    now it is a business loss to do because licensing is 
    more profitable than paying out to create specifications for 
    competitors to build to.

Let's be clear:  as long as the W3C sticks to "fundamental" 
technology exclusively used for the Internet, the so-called 
commodities, as I said before, I believe it will continue 
to receive submissions.  Otherwise, once one starts getting 
into the applications sphere (say VoiceXML), all bets are 
off.  These are products, not commodities, and subsidizing 
the competitor without a research budget isn't a good business 

If one really wants to think that all software used 
on the Internet anywhere anytime by anybody is "fundamental", then
some parts of the "fundamental Internet framework" may become 
standardized using diluted, also ran technologies while the 
patented technologies are sold and integrated into the Internet 
anyway under the aegis of other consortia and cartels or by plain 
old outselling the competition.  

I don't think Turner is threatening.  He is stating probable outcomes.  
Over time, the W3C will be marginalized.   Patented technology 
too good to overlook will be stolen just as it always has been.  
Lawsuits will follow.  Lawyers will make money.  Some businesses 
without the deep pockets to keep up the fight will fold.  Others 
will receive hefty chunks of money for their due diligence.

What is being overestimated is the lasting sales value of the W3C 
imprimatur.  That is what is wrong with Patrick's assertion.


From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:ricko@allette.com.au]

From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>

> 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? 

As more countries assert their independence from US IPR
law on technologies of national importance, I think there
is more chance that entertainment-based IPR technology
will be allowed as a trade-off against the negation of IPR
on fundamental Internet technologies.

Non-US governments will say "We simply will not accept
IPR on AIDS drugs and foundation internet protocols;
but to keep US trade dogs at bay, we will stop piracy of
the Lion King."

I think US people and people who travel in business rather
than technical/policy circles, should not underestimate the
bad taste that US IPR impositions have to the rest of the
world.  W3C would be crazy to get involved in this political
dispute by allowing non-RF technology in its specs.


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