neither your comment nor Patrice's comment reassure my stated concern that
designating the IAOC as an entity that would be taking legal responsibility
separate from ISOC would expose its members to personal liability.
I believe that letting the BCP task the IASA with this responsibility
allows it to decide - if it concludes that this is the best course for the
IETF - to establish a trust that may have the IAOC members as trustees, or
may have some different group as trustees, after due consideration of the
liability issues, and without exposing its members to any liability that is
not covered under the D&O insurance that ISOC has contracted for, which
covers all members of the IESG, IAB, Nomcom and WG chairs operating within
the IETF process.
It seems precipitate to me to insist that this specific organizational form
be mandated in this document, rather than let the IAOC decide on its own
whether or not to create such an entity after due deliberation.
Could you explain why you think that the idea of a "trust" needs to be
specified in the BCP, rather than assuming that the IASA will choose to
establish one if it becomes clear that this is the best construct for the
I do agree that the term "belonging to the IETF" is not the best language
to use, given the IETF's decision not to formalize its legal status at this
--On 3. februar 2005 07:45 -0500 Robert Kahn <rkahn(_at_)cnri(_dot_)reston(_dot_)va(_dot_)us>
I continue to remain concerned that the BCP is not flexible enough to
allow the IAOC to assume administrative responsibilities for acting as a
trustee for IETF-owned IP. There needs to be a specific task added to the
IAOC responsibilities for this purpose. Specifically, the following words
should be added to the list of IAOC responsibilities: "Serve as Trustee
for IETF assets including, without limitation, intellectual property and
Patrice's comment below is particularly important where licensing and
other management tasks related to "donated patents" are concerned. Simply
designating IASA to be responsible has too many operational problems to
be workable in practice. In light of the interrelationship between the
administration of IETF assets and the potential impact on IETF Standards
activities, the IAOC should retain the primary responsibility for
managing IETF assets in the first instance, even if the IAOC were to
delegate the day to day administrative tasks such as sublicensing to
others (e.g. to the IAD).
From: "Patrice Lyons" <palyons(_at_)bellatlantic(_dot_)net>
To: "Robert Kahn" <rkahn(_at_)cnri(_dot_)reston(_dot_)va(_dot_)us>
Subject: IP matters
There is a recent discussion on the IETF list that raises certain
questions. In particular, take a look at the statement: "The IASA is
responsible for managing all intellectual property rights (IPR) . . .
that belong to the IETF." Since the IETF is not incorporated, it is at
best unclear whether the IETF is capable of owning copyrights, patents,
trademarks or any other rights or interests. There are simple procedures
that may be required to enable this such as filing appropriate documents
with the Virginia state authorities.
Also, since the IASA does not appear to be a legal person, but rather an
activity or process having two components: IAD and IAOC, where would the
responsibility for managing the so-called IPR reside in the first
instance and who would decide? For example, if the IAD is an employee of
ISOC, a license agreement between the IETF and ISOC would be required to
authorize the IAD to use the IETF marks and to sublicense the marks to
IETF service providers. Who has signature authority for this purpose?
From a CNRI perspective, it would appear prudent to task the IAOC with
the responsibility for entering into such a license agreement with ISOC,
and to oversee quality of service standards with respect to the
activities of the IAD using the IETF marks.
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