Paying Royalties To Use CSS or XML? What?!

I won’t duplicate what Jeffrey Zeldman, Ben Henick, and the Web Standards Project have stated so well already. I will write here, though, that I’m also opposed to the current W3 Patent Policy Recommendation. Why? It’s far too vague and leaves open holes for potential problems with its discussion of RAND and what it considers to be royalty-free. Such ambiguity makes me nervous. Remove the holes and I’ll feel less squirmish.

Fortunately, W3C listened to our requests to extend the deadline and allow time for discussion of this issue, per the email announcement I received tonight.

Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 21:38:55 -0700
From: Susan Lesch <>
Subject: W3C Weekly News - 1 October 2001

W3C Weekly News
Week of 25 September - 1 October 2001

Patent Policy Review Period Extended

1 October 2001: The Patent Policy Working Group released the "W3C Patent Policy Framework" as a Last Call Working Draft on 16 August. The draft proposes changes to the W3C process and Member Agreements, including licensing modes for W3C Working Groups, disclosure obligations, licensing commitments, and a procedure for variances. Thanks to requests from the Web community, the W3C Team has extended a public and Member review period. Comments are welcome through 11 October. Learn more in the backgrounder, the response to public comments, and the Patent Policy FAQ.

This is such a lousy time to have to deal with this. We’re in the midst of the most traumatic experience, and I know I’m not the only one who feels like my heart will ache forever. I’m certainly thankful they’ve extended the deadline so that we can provide input, even if I wish it was extended far longer than October 11.

If you do check it out and wish to comment to the W3C, please provide some reasons why you’re opposed: W3C’s discussion on this.

I’d rather be sitting here hugging my kids and my friends, listening to music with them, and enjoying their company. This patent issue is too important for the Web to let it slide by, though.

Some Resources
W3 Patent Policy Recommendation
Comments to W3C: October 1 | September 30

Web Standards Project
Jeffrey Zeldman
Ben Henick - October 1 | September 30

09:56 pm, pdt 1 October, 2001 Comments, Trackbacks ·';}?>

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