On Thu, 21 Oct 2004, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
Brian E Carpenter <brc(_at_)zurich(_dot_)ibm(_dot_)com>:
I don't think we can require the IESG to negotiate anything. There are
all kinds of legal issues there. To my knowledge, both WGs and the IESG
do think carefully about this, but often conclude that the default IETF
conditions (RAND) are realistic and acceptable.
If IETF continues to believe this, groups like Apache and Debian will continue
to have to end-run IETF by doing the job of defending the Internet commons
that IETF is abdicating, and IETF's authority will evaporate.
Neither of the groups you mention are standards organizations. They can't
"end-run" the IETF because they don't produce standards, any more than
Microsoft produces standards. Nor can they "end-run" the IETF any more
than Microsoft can end-run the IETF. The "defacto standards" promoted by
one company are often rejected by the wider community, even though they
might have a profitable and sizeable user base.
It is also not the IETF's role to "defend the internet commons". It is the
IETF's role to produce open standards. Defense of the internet commons,
while necessary and good, is not a job of the IETF, nor is it a job the
IETF can take on at present. The FSF and other groups (including Apache
and Debian) are doing a good job of defending the internet commons.
It is not 1982 or even 1992 any more. Conditions have changed dramatically.
I would hate to see IETF dwindle into irrelevance, but that is exactly
where statements like this are pointing.
People are interested in standards and useful technology, and will be for
the forseeable future.
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