Followups on the W3C Patent Policy from Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen, and Microsoft
Oct 01, 2001, 12:30 (42 Talkback[s])
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Adam Warner wrote in with a few interesting links regarding the
W3C's request for comments on its policy toward patents, including
comments from Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen, and someone from
Here are a few of developments that are interesting.
The Head of Communications for the W3C posted to your forum:
(I just came across it).
John Gilmore EFF:
A Microsoft representative has posted to strongly support RAND:
"A short note to express my strong support for the RAND patent changes
"Patents are a critical part of our Intellectual Property system and a
key underpinning of our capitalist economy. Remove patents and you
remove the incentives for people to invent/create new IP. Why create
new IP when you have to risk it as part of the W3C procedures? Instead,
the W3C should uphold, protect and encourage patents as they create and
support true innovation by providing tremendous positive economic
This looks like it could be a hoax. It's just too blatant. But the
message ID looks legitimate.
Who is Alex Simons? (I remember the name from somewhere). A Google
search turns up:
"Microsoft has always been a company that thrives on championing ideas,"
says Alex Simons, 30, a nine-year Microsoft veteran who is now a
product-unit manager for bCentral. Not every idea finds a home at
Microsoft. But there are no rules about whom an employee can pitch to,
no penalties for wasting a VP's time, no stigma attached to backing a
Plus Richard Stallman also posted:
In addition, Eben Moglen also posted a comment, as noted by Chuck
Mead. Writes Professor Moglen:
"I write on behalf of the Free Software Foundation to
oppose the the W3C's adoption of a patent-friendly standards
Moglen's complete comment.
The World Wide Web cannot exist as a global and
uniformly-available facility of human society without free
software. Apache, Perl PHP--and literally hundreds of other
immediately recognizable aspects of web technology--have been
outgrowths of the free software production model. Without free
software, the web would be a commercialized outgrowth of a few
proprietary software producers, and it would be incapable of
serving, as it now does, as a force for global egalitarianism.
Because the Web employs no technology not based around
completely open standards, software implementing every single
facility of Web life can be produced in the free software model,
and is therefore available for free modification and improvement
all over the world, supplied at the marginal cost of distribution
to any programmer--no matter how financially constrained--who
wishes to produce new facilities and opportunities for users."