On Thu, 1 Jul 2004, wayne wrote:
4) Proposals must have IP licensing terms that allow for use in both
commercial and GPLed MTAs.
The requirement to even THINK about licensing terms when one is
implementing a "standard" internet protocol is almost unimaginable. The
IETF is supposed to promote interoperability without precondition. The
introduction of any form of license in order to use a "standard" mail
protocol raises the possibility that certain parties will not be able to
participate fully on the internet for legal reasons.
There is no precedent for such an ugly situation, and I am strongly
opposed to creating it now.
It doesn't matter what the terms are or how open or simple they are.
Licensing terms should NOT exist for an IETF "standard" protocol.
Implementors are not lawyers, and generally have better things to do with
Optional bootnote: A similar argument applies to the use of well-known
licenses for software. I believe that a large part of the reason for the
success of the GPL, BSD or Apache licenses is that the rights of the user
and developer are particularly well understood in those cases. It's
frequently simpler to pick a GPL'd package than to understand the license
of a (possibly better) package under a custom license.
The same applies here: we should be applying a standard and well
understood set of terms to any proposed protocol, and the "standard and
well understood" set of terms is "You can do what you like with it, and
are beholden unto nobody."
Anything else is an obstacle and will cause division.
I am the Borg. http://www.gothnicity.org/