"Senior IBM server executives were horrified to learn
yesterday that W3C standards may not in the future be royalty-free.
Internet standards and Linux have helped IBM widen its appeal in
recent years, and the company has pledged $1 billion on developing
and marketing Linux. But its continued investment depends on good
will from the Linux developer community, and that may well be
imperilled by its preference of RAND to royalty-free for the most
fundamental WWW standards.
IBM holds over 34,000 patents and gains over $1 billion in
royalties annually from its patent portfolio.
'IBM's a great supporter of Linux if it can avoid pissing on its
feet,' license watcher Karsten Self told us. 'IBM is straddling the
line on intellectual property and content control measures, and
while it has it has been a great supporter of the Linux community,
it needs to decide which side of the bar it needs to stand on,
before that bar comes up hard.'"