Skip to main content /TECH with IDG.net
CNN.com /TECH
CNN TV
EDITIONS





W3C flips, endorses royalty-free standards

InfoWorld

By Scarlet Pruitt

(IDG) -- Responding to thousands of e-mail messages lobbying against the attachment of royalty fees to World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards, the group released a new draft patent policy Tuesday endorsing free specifications.

IDG.net INFOCENTER
IDG.net
Visit an IDG site


IDG.net search



The W3C, whose goal is to develop common protocols to ensure interoperability on the Web, said that the new draft places a "strong and explicit commitment" to royalty-free standards. The group was met with a flurry of criticism last August when it released its first patent policy working draft, which opened the door for companies to claim patent rights and collect royalties for standards endorsed by the W3C.

The group said that it revised its patent policy draft after receiving thousands of e-mail messages from both W3C members and the public expressing concern about the royalty fees. Advocates of open-source software, which is often cooperatively developed and freely available over the Web, were particularly unsettled by the possibility of royalty rates being attached to international Web standards. Although the group has changed its stance on the matter, it said that it still has to figure out how to deal with technology that is only available for a fee.

The W3C said that it is now seeking further public comment on the new draft. At least one more public draft will be released for review this year, the group said, and then a final draft will be presented to the W3C Advisory Committee Review. The director of that committee will decide the final policy.

Scarlet Pruitt is a Boston correspondent for the IDG News Service, an InfoWorld affiliate. Joris Evers contributed to this report.


 
 
 
 


RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
RELATED SITES:
• The New Patent Policy Draft Release

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



 Search   

Back to the top