[ANSOL-geral][recortes] Act Now To Sidestep A W3C Patent Pitfall

Lopo de Almeida lopo.almeida arroba sitaar.com
Wed Jan 1 15:11:01 2003

Act Now To Sidestep A W3C Patent Pitfall

    Jay Sulzberger, Corresponding Secretary of LXNY (New York's Free
    Computing Organization) writes with a report on the ongoing fight over
    patents in Web standards. "In the past two years the Free Software
    Movement has moved W3C, the Official Standards Body of the World Wide
    Web, from a proposed patent policy, which would have, in future, denied
    us our present right to full and free use of free software to build the
    Web, to a policy intended to guarantee that free software may be used
    without fear of patent encumbrances. This move is an important victory
    for us. But the present proposed policy on patents has a bug that is
    worth fixing. The mechanism of the bug is non-obvious, except to people
    who have studied the GPL and certain other free software licenses. It
    is a bug that, if the proposal is made an official standard, would
    allow for patent encumbrances to be laid on certain free software in
    circumstances where today no encumbrance is allowed." Read the rest of
    Jay's commentary (below) on this devil in the details.