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From "Noel J. Bergman" <n...@devtech.com>
Subject RE: FW: Microsoft's patent loss rattles tech community
Date Fri, 05 Sep 2003 20:17:23 GMT

         ...               what if some other big player were to
        acquire or merge with us? What if only one best-of-breed
        browser could run embedded plug-ins, applets, ActiveX
        controls, or anything like them, and it wasn't IE? How
        competitive would the other browsers be without those
        capabilities? How would that change the current dynamics in
        the Industry?"

Eolas wants us to see it from their perspective, instead of Microsoft's.
How's about from the perspective of Internet Standards?

I believe in open standards.  From my perspective, Eolas is damaging an
Internet Standard.  All of a sudden, the W3C <SCRIPT>, <OBJECT> and
(deprecated) <APPLET> tags are patented by someone.  Regardless of whether
Doyle deludes himself into thinking he is some sort of White Knight, this is
an public intrastructure standard from a recognized Internet standards body,
and key portions were just seized by a patent.  It is a terrible precedent
to permit.  Just because someone got to "stick it to Microsoft" doesn't make
it good.  What will happen when Microsoft or some other big player with a
large patent portfolio does the same?  How would THAT "change the current
dynamics of the Industry?"

As far as I am concerned, it would be desirable for the W3C should have a
copyright on HTML, XML, etc., and be able to deny the right to use those
standards to anyone claiming IP rights over them.  Other standards bodies
should likewise adopt a policy to protect their standards as IP, make it
freely available (none of the nonsense where egregious fees are charged to
gain access to the documents), and enforced only to protect the standard
from land grabs.

NO ONE should be permitted to have IP rights over public infrastructure
standards, except for the body charged with protecting them for the public.
Open Standards must be just that: OPEN.

	--- Noel

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