The more I think about this, the angrier it makes me. The W3C seems to suggest that just because there are already a lot of ridiculous patents we should just shrug our shoulders and accept that cooperation can only occur with some sort of financial pay off.
Well, I don’t accept that. That’s a Bill Gates mindset, not the thinking of true visionaries like Tim Berners-Lee, Larry Wall, James Clark and all the other people who have helped to craft our online world.
If the patent proposal goes through it will mean the end of cooperation. Do you really think, for example, that Microsoft will help develop a technology if it means paying Sun royalties? Or that AOL will be happy to pay Microsoft to use a basic internet technology?
Instead, the internet will split up into many smaller networks, each based on its own technology. Instead of a community based on a common language, we will have a virtual Tower of Babel.