[Discussioni] W3C e brevetti
rubini a gnu.org
Gio 31 Gen 2002 15:41:37 CET
> Il Consorzio ha fatto uscire un documento, "Current Patent Practice",
> in cui illustra la propria politica circa i brevetti. Io non l'ho
> ancora letta e non so quando avro` occasione di farlo
> Serve investigare ancora ma non e' certo tutto rose e fiori.
Sembra che Jonathan Corbet abbia investigato. Ecco cosa esce sul nuovo
The new draft W3C patent policy is out. This policy was, of course,
the subject of a great fuss back in September when it turned out that
it allowed patented technology to be included in W3C standards as long
as it could be licensed under "reasonable and non-discriminatory"
(RAND) terms. Quite a few people felt that the web had flourished as a
direct result of having been built on open standards, and they did not
welcome the change. The W3C responded by backing off and promising to
reconsider the policy.
The result can be seen in the Current Patent Practice note
published on January 24. The core of the new policy can be seen at the
This current practice has evolved in order to satisfy the goal held
by a number of W3C Members and significant parts of the larger Web
community: that W3C Recommendations should be, as far as possible,
implementable on a Royalty-Free basis.
In fact, the policy does not, directly, allow for standards to contain
anything but royalty-free technology. Should an "essential" technology
arise which is governed by patents, and for which royalty-free
licensing is not a possibility, the issue will be sent off to pasture
in a "patent advisory group" (PAG). The PAG will have 90 days to
figure out how to resolve the issue. One of the possible resolutions
is RAND licensing, but the policy cautions:
Note that there is neither clear support amongst the Membership for
producing RAND specifications nor a process for doing so. Therefore
if a PAG makes a recommendation to proceed on RAND terms, Advisory
Committee review and Director's decision will be required.
In other words, those who wish to push RAND-licensed technology into a
W3C standard have to wander into uncharted territory, marked only
"here be dragons." If there were any further doubt that the W3C would
like to be done with this issue, the standard also says that "*It is
also possible that a the PAG could recommend that the work be taken to
To summarize: it looks like we won. Let it not be said that this sort
of obnoxiousness can not be overcome by speaking up. Congratulations
are due to all of the (many!) people who let the W3C know what they
thought when this issue first came up. (For those who have more to
say, there is another comment period that will be opened up before
the policy is submitted for its final review).
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