On Dec 12, 2008, at 5:49 AM, Simon Josefsson wrote:
IETF Chair <chair(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org> writes:
What does a contributor do in the situation when then want to build
older work that was contributed prior to RFC 5378?
In short, the contributor must obtain the additional rights from the
To my knowledge, there has never been a requirement to document all
copyright holders of material in documents approved under RFC 2026 or
RFC 3978. There is wording that require "all major contributors" to
mentioned, but it seems possible that some part of a document is
copyrightable but not be a major contribution.
So, how would you actually know which old contributors to contact?
One of my general principles is that engineers should not try to be
lawyers, and I am dubious about any attempt to make IETF contributors
obtain licenses from third parties.
While this has been argued to death, here is what I propose :
Contributors of IETF material should represent that one or more of 3
conditions apply to any particular contribution:
1.) There is no material in this contribution from pre-RFC5378 work.
2.) There is material in this contribution from pre-RFC5378 work by
one or more of the
current set of authors, and they hereby license this older material
under the current conditions.
3.) There is material in this contribution from pre-RFC5378 work and
the license status of that material may not be consistent with RFC5378.
Number 3 is for the cases where the previous authors were different,
or where the current authors do not own their previous work, and is in
either case intended to flag the contribution as
possibly one needing attention by the Trust. Note that # 2 and #3 are
not mutually exclusive, and obviously the Trust Counsel would need to
pass any actual wording.
This would shift any work to obtain earlier licenses onto the Trust
and the Trust Counsel, where in my opinion it belongs. This would also
serve the useful purpose of automatically obtaining licenses from
people who are just reusing their own work (if they are in a position
to grant such a license).
Any what if the contributor is deceased?
It would be very useful if the IAOC/Trust develop, together with legal
aid, guiding instructions for this situation. It would answer the
common questions. It seems applicable to a lot of work that will
in the next 5 years: updating any RFC issues prior to RFC 5378.
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