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CNET News: W3C Patent Plan Draws Protests

Oct 02, 2001, 01:41 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Margaret Kane, Mike Ricciuti)

[ Thanks to Abhijeet Chavan for this link. ]

"...The W3C's Patent Policy Framework, more commonly referred to as the "reasonable and non-discriminatory" (RAND) licensing proposal, acknowledges a central conflict to the standardization process: Companies that spend serious time and effort coming up with the technology behind the standards may be reluctant to simply give away the rights to what they consider their intellectual property.

That proposal, written by W3C members representing large technology companies such as Microsoft, Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard and Philips Electronics, has kicked off a firestorm of controversy among developers, some of whom claim it will spell the end of innovation for the Web and could lead to undue influence by commercial companies over the standards process.

More specifically, some developers believe the proposal calls into question the W3C's role as the arbiter of standards related to the Web. A final decision on the policy is expected from the W3C by February 2002."

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