The 15 September 2020 W3C Process Document and 15 September 2020 W3C Patent Policy take effect today. At a time when the Web is increasingly essential with the world going more and more virtual, these updates increase the Web Consortium’s responsiveness and strengthen standardization activities by adding a continuous standard development mode and earlier Royalty-Free protection for implementers, among other changes. Please read more in our press release.
Of the changes to the W3C Process Document, the most anticipated ones offer a real boost in helping the Web serve the community:
- streamlined community review and review for integrity (Horizontal review to ensure accessibility, internationalization, privacy, and security);
- flexibility for multiple work modes, including stability of referenced versions and reflection of the current status in the technical reports list;
- a continuous development mode that enables specifications to reflect rapidly developing technology –including a living standard approach as a native capability of the W3C Recommendation Track.
These critical improvements required an important change to the W3C Patent Policy –the first major update to this groundbreaking document since its introduction to the world in 2005– to provide patent protection at earlier Candidate phases, supporting unencumbered implementation and use even as specifications continue to evolve. This change helps to de-risk Web experimentation and reinforce access to the Web’s technology as common infrastructure.
The documents were developed by the W3C Advisory Board, the public Revising W3C Process Community Group and the Patents and Standards Interest Group (PSIG). Comments and feedback on the new Process Document may be sent as issues in the public GitHub Repository.