On 10-okt-04, at 22:38, scott bradner wrote:
small quotes are fine (under fair use) but significant excerpts are not
Indeed. I'm not a lawyer either, but it seems to me many people are
attributing much more power to copyright law than it actually has. If
some evil (open|closed) source movement wants to grab IETF standards
and build "improved" versions, the question whether they can copy parts
of the original IETF standards documents really isn't all that
relevant. If they can't, all they have to do is restate everything they
want to copy in their own words. Remember, ideas can't be copyrighted,
only their expression (in this case the actual verbatim text) can.
However, this is not to say that having anyone who feels like it modify
RFCs and republish them is a good idea. Treating natural language text
as source code is a spectacularly bad idea. But then, anyone who has
ever tried submitting changes to the collected works of Shakespeare
already knew that.
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