FSDN: ˇ Sorce Mage GNU/Linux ˇ Debian ˇ Free Developers ˇ GNU
[GNU-Friends] Sections: Front Page ˇ News ˇ Interviews ˇ GNU-Friends ˇ Diaries
Menu: About ˇ Submit Story ˇ FAQ ˇ Donate ˇ Search
This page brought to you by: Jonas Öberg, just another GNU friend.
New W3C Patents Policy - unfortunately not an April Fool's joke
By a member of the hurd, Section News
Posted on Fri Apr 4th, 2003 at 10:37:09 GMT
Even though the W3C issued a misleading press release in which it is falsely claimed that "The W3C Royalty-Free license requirements are now consistent with generally recognized Open Source licensing terms", the planned new policy with still result in standards which are impossible to implement in GPL'd software because of patents issues. A DotGNU leader comments that if the objectionable rule in the new policy gets used, that will lead to a "standards war".


< PCLinuxOnline initiates community boycott of SCO (1 comments) | Speaking at FLOSCaribbean Conference (2 comments) >
Make a new account

View: Display: Sort:
New W3C Patents Policy - unfortunately not an April Fool's joke | 5 comments (5 topical, editorial) | Post A Comment
[new] good read (#1)
by coriordan (#377) () on Fri Apr 4th, 2003 at 15:19:13 GMT
(User Info) http://www.compsoc.com/~coriordan/

Well worth a read.
Mailing your comments is also worth doing. The email address is:

Read other peoples comments before commenting if yo have time. Eben Moglen posted a good comment, the DotGNU guys post was good too.

Ciaran O'Riordan

[ Reply to This ]

[new] It's not far off.... (#3)
by alex (#9) on Sat Apr 5th, 2003 at 12:24:50 GMT
(User Info) http://www.alexhudson.com/

The list of requirements of the policy are:
  • The license must be available to all implementers and users whether or not they are W3C Members.
  • The license may be limited to implementations of the Recommendation;
  • The license may require a royalty-free "grant back" or reciprocal licenses either to the original patent holder or to all other implementers;
  • The license must not charge a fee or royalty;
  • The license may be suspended if the licensee sues the licensor;
  • The license must not impose any other material conditions, such as requirements to use other technologies, etc.

It's only that second condition that causes the problem; the rest of the proposal isn't too bad. If you are to express comments on this proposal, please make sure it is directed against that point of the proposal, and not against the proposal in general - the proposal isn't bad, it's just the fine detail.

The closing date for comments is the end of April, so there's plenty of time - don't rush to write something short and trivial.

[ Reply to This ]

[new] Talk to governments, not (only) the W3C (#4)
by xdrudis (#434) on Tue Apr 8th, 2003 at 22:50:23 GMT
(User Info) http://patents.caliu.info

We would all love to see a perfect Patent Policy at the W3C, but please remember that even that would not protect standards or free software from patents of companies that do not participate in the W3C.

I think the only solution is to stop software patents from being granted. We must use every bit of democratic power we have as citizens, and every bit of brains to understand, explain and demand that software patents must be abolished / kept illegal.

In the particular case of the EU this is in the political agenda now. The JURI committee of the European Parliament will vote this month (well, not too sure of the date, but looks like this) and the European Parliament plenary will vote in mid May or early June. We must get the directive amended (or at worst rejected) so that software is left unpatentable in Europe (and then make the European Patent Office comply with the law).

If you live in the EU, or in future EU states. Please use the FFII web application to adopt a Member of the European Parliament and explain to her the problems with the Commission directive, the JURI rapporteur's endorsement and amendments, and the need for endorsing the counter-proposal, and also invite them to the meetings set up to debate it.

Some useful links:

Adopt a MEP: http://www.ffii.org/ffii-cgi/eintrag?l=en

Next month conference:

(bad) proposal from the JURI rapporteur http://www.europarl.eu.int/meetdocs/committees/juri/20030219/488980en.pdf ...
http://www.europarl.eu.int/meetdocs/committees/juri/20030219/488980da.pdf ...

Critique to the rapporteur's proposal
http://swp at.ffii.org/papers/eubsa-swpat0202/amccarthy0302/

Invention concept, which is at the center of the debate. http://swpat.ffii.org/analys is/invention/

Amendment proposals (counter-proposal)
http:/ /swpat.ffii.org/papers/eubsa-swpat0202/prop/index.en.html

Not so direct but also interesting:

Article by Brian Kahin explaining the situation both sides of the Atlantic http://www. firstmonday.dk/issues/issue8_3/kahin/index.html

Text from Greenspan which would show doubts even in the USA http://www.federalreserve.gov/BoardDocs/speeches/2003/20030404/default.htm (but I still haven't read it)

[ Reply to This ]

New W3C Patents Policy - unfortunately not an April Fool's joke | 5 comments (5 topical, editorial) | Post A Comment
View: Display: Sort:

Verbatim copying and distribution of this article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved. Images of gnu:s in the logo are © Free Software Foundation, Inc and distributed under the GNU General Public License. Comments are copyright by thir respective owner. All other material are © 2002 .