On Wed, 29 May 2002 15:40:55 PDT, Tony Hain said:
Clearly from the responses I didn't make my point in that last
paragraph. The original note mentioned VRRP specifically, and in that
case the IPR holder didn't bring the proposal to the IETF. The way I
read that note, the Free Software community believes that the IPR holder
should be required to provide RF terms when someone proposes a similar
technology for standardization.
Be very careful here - asserting that there is one "the Free Software
community" that agrees on ANYTHING is hazardous. Fortunately for our
collective sanity, most of the community seems to be in either the GPL camp or
the BSD/X11 camp, and both of those groups would agree on "royalty-free" as a
I have to agree with the "RF" requirement on more pragmatic grounds - if we
want to move something along the Standard track, we're saying "This is the way
it should be done". And the reality is that a monoculture is a Very Bad Thing
for all the usual diversity reasons. However, this implies that there will be
platforms with marginal support, where most of what's being done is "for free"
by hobbyists and owners/users (see the Linux world several years ago for an
Letting something onto the Standards track without a RF clause is basically
saying "Your checkbook must be at least <license fee> tall to ride this
function of the Internet". And we don't want to do that.
Does anybody know if it's possible to write a license for basic technology
(the algorithms themselves, not a particular source implementation) such
that code written to implement it can be released under the BSD or GPL
licenses, as the implementor sees fit?
Do we, as the IETF, want to say "must be *either* BSD-ish or GPL-ish
licensed", or do we want to say "must be compatible with both styles",
or do we want to do a semantic tap-dance and use verbiage that doesn't
actually *reference* either by name, but is acceptable to either/both
camps? I know that the GNU people are more than happy to discuss in
great detail exactly how a specific license is or isn't compatible
with their agenda and license, and I'm sure a spokesperson can be found
for the BSD-style camp as well...
(And as usual, IANAL, I just happen to have opinions on what I perceive
as a desirable goal)
Computer Systems Senior Engineer
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