"To date all W3C standards have been royalty-free,
which, it's universally agreed, has helped accelerate the adoption
of web technologies. It's also allowed small developers to work
without fear of expensive intellectual property litigation, and
allowed free software authors - forbidden from linking to
patent-encumbered code by the GPL, to develop open implementations.
"The policy of licensing patents under RAND terms and conditions
has allowed our best technical individuals to work together without
becoming burdened by patent issues," IBMer Gerald Lane wrote last
year, in support of royalties.
The RAND addition was stalled after the issue blew up at the end
of September, with open source developers advocating the formation
of an alternative to the W3C , if royalty-bearing licenses became
an option. Now, with the input of Bruce Perens and Eben Moglen, a
compromise has been reached."