"A web standards schism would be "a terrible thing",
says the man at the centre of the firestorm over the blessing of
royalty-bearing patents by the World Wide Web Consortium. Danny
Weitzner is the head of the W3C's Patent Policy Working Group, and
we caught up with him earlier today.
We raised the prospect of a breakaway after the ferocious
reaction to the W3C's mooted RAND license. The suggestion that
royalty-bearing licenses (RAND) should take their place alongside
royalty-free licenses would make open source implementations
difficult or impossible, say community luminaries. The public
mailing list has drawn over a thousand critical comments since
The nightmare scenario runs like this.
A company introduces a royalty-bearing technology under a RAND
license, and it become a W3C-approved standard. The free software
community decides not to pay the piper, and sets about creating a
royalty-free and open alternative..."