I have yet to see a statement that makes a valid legal argument
that the license terms prohibit open source distribution.
The license terms are at least as open as the terms which the
IETF has accepted in the past.
This is a quasi-judicial proceeding, we have to proceed on the
basis of established facts. About the only fact I see a consensus
on is that none of us are lawyers.
I believe this is an erroneous restatement of the problems we are
1. Exactly what is covered by this license? I assumed that, on
August 23, we would know the answer to this question. Sure, we
got a look at the license, but it raised more questions than it
2. Assume for the moment that the license does not prohibit open
source distribution -- at least, not in so many words. Does it
still encumber open source distribution to such an extent as to
make it infeasible?
3. Although the license claims to be royalty-free, what is the
licensee giving up which has value other than monetary?
Is this really a quasi-judicial proceeding? I think it's a bunch
of people trying to solve a technical problem without getting
stymied by intractable non-technical considerations. Quite a few
people have raised their hands in objection to this license so
far. At least some of them believe the current problem, forgery
of sender domain names, can be abated without recourse to whatever
technology it is that is being licensed. Might this position
in fact be the current rough consensus of the group?
-- George Mitchell