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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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would anyone contribute then?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 08 2012 @ 08:29 PM EST
Giving something away in the sense that a competitor can take that technology,
build a customer base around it and lock others out? Or giving something away
in the sense that everyone can use it?

Giving something away in the sense that everyone can use it should be a
requirement before it becomes a standard. When you give something to to world,
you give it to the world, not just to your friends. (For instance, any
Microsoft employee is free to download and use any Linux or BSD distro to their
hearts content. Heck. Maybe it will help them figure out what a better
operating system looks like). That has nothing to do with whether or not the
Linux communities are friends with Microsoft.

However, they cannot suck the code in to Windows or create a version of Linux
that is not compatible with the terms of the GPL.

Should be the same with standards.

Another example would be Adobe's PDF file format. It's free to use. You can
write software to create PDFs, edit PDFs, etc... But Adobe will hunt people
down if they do not strictly adhere to their definition of the PDF container.

Giving something away (completely relinquishing control) and allowing the world
to share in something wonderful are two separate actions based on two separate
intentions.

Both are (and should be) acceptable when it comes to creating standards.
Standards would have no appeal or reason for existence if it were not that way.

Creating a standard, and then charging people for the use of that standard is a
completely different matter (that's what patents are for, not standards).

If it's an agreement between companies, and not an official standard, that's one
thing. But in order to involve an official standards body in passing an
official standard, there should be a higher standard set. (pun intended :) )

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Sorry...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 08 2012 @ 08:36 PM EST
I misread your reply...

The incentive would be, "Hey! We've come up with this great new technology
that wouldn't do anyone any good unless we get lots and lots of people on
board."

There's no better way to get people on board than simply letting everyone use it
(Unless you're like Microsoft that already has a huge, locked in customer base
that is stuck doing whatever MS decides to be their next greatest thing).

It's simply a way to get your discovery out there so everyone can be on board
with it.

Without making the 4G a standard, there would be less appeal to adopt it
(companies drop a lot of money just adopting it, and they have to answer for
that too).

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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