RE: Facts to Support RAND? was: Re: more patent fun
People should read David Turner's article first. He makes cogent arguments, and experience shows the value of patent licensing over surrendering rights to other companies (See Intel vs Intergraph) without complaint. The part Simon quoted is the conclusion, but not the whole case. Without looking for threats, one might summarize that given RF-only, it is not that the W3C will cease to be a spec-producing organization, but that the class of technologies for which it is able to offer RF specifications narrows considerably and possibly, so will its membership. Ok, we just have to accept that if we want RF-only. Anywho... Are the trends you think applicable from the W3C spec adoption sustainable in the future? IOW, is that a merely historical or an inevitable trend? I'm not for patents in W3C specs, but I think your argument has holes. It depends on greed too, and in a money game, there are other strategies. The argument revolves around creating market with standards, not creating products for which a market has already been created or for truly innovative products which are easily sold but readily copied so patented. W3C specs related originally to pieces of the infrastructure that were tough to market without giving them away. There are products that are more successful if other companies can build them correctly at low to no cost. Browsers were thought to be that, but aren't. They are loss leaders. HTTP servers are a good example of the kind of tech that an RF-spec can make more attractive: a commodity with no value unless adopted widely. What about others? If the property is interesting enough that a lot of companies want to produce it to sell instead of give away or simply package into other products for good will, it's more profitable to patent and license than to go even the RAND route. Patent licensing is lucrative in the extreme. Much better than RANDing. RANDing forces one to be "reasonable and non-discriminatory". Patent licenses don't have that impact. Does that pass the bottle to everyone? No. We may not see a decent binary XML because MPEG encumbered the best idea first. Perfectly legal. Good for all concerned; no, but we can't make them care. Pick your goose accordingly but this comes down to following one that leads to eggs. In at least some cases, you may be following a gander. len From: Patrick Durusau [mailto:pdurusau@e...] Until someone can make the case that RAND based web standards will have the same adoption curve as present W3C standards, the minority of vendors who might profit from RAND would do well to contain their greed. They could well be about to kill the goose that is laying golden eggs.
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