I think the *whole point* of a standard is to restrict how
done, in order to promote interoperability.
Standards are recommendations not restrictions.
Let's say that the restrictions viewpoint wins out in the
IETF and all RFCs are copyrighted in such a way that I
am not free to publish a revised version.
What law would prevent me from publishing the following
Gee-Whizz SMTP is a derivative of IETF.
In RFC 2821 replace all occurences of HELO with GDAY.
This is clearly an incompatible derivative of SMTP but I
don't even need to quote the document, even though "fair use"
laws would allow me to do that.
P.S. it seems to me that the best way to ensure that incompatible
derivatives do not flourish is to make sure that the work of the
IETF remains relevant to the current situation, and not mired in
the past. That way, the IETF will maintain a position of respect
and people will not want to create incompatible derivative works.
Openness is required in order for advancement to occur.
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