--On Wednesday, 07 June, 2006 14:22 -0400 "Gray, Eric"
I disagree both in the belief that the Note Well is
clear on this and the sense of your argument that anyone
participating in any part of a discussion can be made
retroactively responsible for the entire discussion.
I think were we disagree is about the notion that inclusion of
one's name in an acknowledgement implies "responsibility" for
any part of the discussion, much less all of it.
The Note Well is not clear because it makes sweeping
statements about the way in which BCP 78 and 79 may apply
to "contributions". The obvious (but not clear) intent is
that what you contribute is now subject to provisions of
these BCPs that apply to contributions. What is both more
subtle and not clearly excluded is that _only_ what you've
contributed applies and that contributing to a work is not
the same as "authoring" it.
To the extent to which you believe that the Note Well is unclear
or defective, please take that to the IPR WG.
I refer directly to the required RFC inclusions that
specifically use the word "author" and their rights and
responsibilities with respect to IPR and copyrights. If I
make a comment about a rev -01 version of a draft and stop
participating in the work, I may not be held accountable
for IPR I may know of but which did not enter into the text
until sometime after I stopped looking at it.
I believe that is true. I also do not believe that an
acknowledgement constitutes an assertion of accountability.
But those are matters for counsel -- I will assert my beliefs
about what ought to be happening here, but not about the legal
implications of particular text. In particular, I do not
believe that inclusion or exclusion from an acknowledgement
implies an IPR claims or responsibilities at all: to do so would
confound many centuries of publications history. An exception
might(and probably would) arise if the contribution were
identified in very specific terms, but those terms would bind
that particular author/ contributor only to that text. As far
as I recall, we have never included text in acknowledgements
that says, e.g., "Joe Blow contributed section 184.108.40.206 in its
entirety and it is used with his permission", so the
implications of that form are not relevant.
Similarly, if I object to work that has been done, you
may not attach my name to it against my objections - unless
either the Note Well, and the BCPs, both explicitly include
a provision for implied consent. If that is the case, now,
then it is most certainly not "clear" that it is.
It would clearly be inappropriate to list you as an author.
Given our current peculiar definition of "Contributor" in the
RFC sense, it would probably be inappropriate to include you as
one of those, at least without permitting you to include a
statement of dissent. It seems to me that you have no standing
to object to the inclusion of your name in an acknowledgement if
you, in fact, did something that the author thought was
appropriate to acknowledge. I'd hope that, in normal
circumstances, the author would honor your request to remove
your name, but I can also see circumstances in which removing
your name would be inappropriate.
As one specific example, suppose the acknowledgements said
"Significant contributions to the topics discussed in this
document came from an ad hoc group consisting of <list of
participants in that group>". Now, adding a "not all members of
the group agree with the final conclusions represented in this
document" would be appropriate if true. But removing a name
from the list of people who participated in the group,
especially the name of someone who could be clearly determined
from the group's mailing list to have actively participated,
would simply be a lie and, IMO, completely inappropriate.
This is the negative side of the discussion going on.
People are focusing on reasons why someone might want to be
included in acknowledgements. I am merely pointing out that
it is also possible that someone might not want this.
Understood. But that is precisely why listing in an
acknowledgement must not have implications of "responsibility"
for the whole document.
And this discussion really belongs in the IPR WG.
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