"Stung by a flood of criticism, a key Web standards
group next week will consider significant changes to its proposal
to establish a formal process for accepting patented, royalty
fee-generating technologies as official Internet standards.
Among other changes to its original proposal, the World Wide Web
Consortium's (W3C) patent policy working group will consider
granting exemptions to open source developers so that they could
avoid paying royalty fees on patented technologies accepted as W3C
standards, said Daniel Weitzner, the working group's chairman, in
The open source exemption was just one idea generated over 2,000
public comments--most of them negative--received in late September
by the working group. The volume of criticism prompted the working
group to extend the public comment period--originally due to expire
Sept. 30--to Oct. 11."