November 14, 2002

W3C patent policy moving in open source direction

- By Lawrence Rosen -
W3C has just released the Last Call Working Draft of its
patent policy for
"Last Call" review.Some of you may remember that an earlier draft of that policy provided
for the possible payment of "reasonable and non-discriminatory" (RAND)
royalties in order to practice W3C specifications. That dreadful
prospect is no longer in the policy. The draft policy now provides that
all patents necessary to implement W3C specifications must be
"royalty-free" (RF).

If this draft is adopted by W3C, all specifications published by W3C can
be implemented by anyone, anywhere, without payment of royalties. This
is a major victory for open source. The open source community was
represented on the Patent Policy Working Group by Eben Moglen, Bruce
Perens and Larry Rosen.

The community now needs to be heard supporting this policy so that it is
not undone during the public input and W3C Advisory Council phase.
Address your comments to www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org.

We hope that this RF policy will be adopted by other standards
organizations around the world.

Click Here!