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W3C looks to promote patented standards

Published by marco on

Ars Technica reports on a new proposal by the W3C which would allow them to promote standards which are not open. That is, standards that are copyrighted and/or patented by companies. This opens up future problems like the GIF one, in which Unisys laid in wait until the format was accepted as an open standard, then came forward with its patent. The article points out that the W3C seems to be in a remarkable hurry to pass this recommendation:

<q>As we[W3C] have begun to use portions of the policy in the day-to-day operations of W3C, we plan to skip the Candidate Recommendation and move directly to an Advisory Committee Review of a Proposed Recommendation draft.</q>
Allowing large companies to dictate which ‘open’ standards are used is not to our benefit.

<q>The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability</q>

How surprising to find that large corporations have managed to subvert this organization as well. Read this extremely good explanation by Allan Cox.