Re: [Trustees] ANNOUNCEMENT: The IETF Trustees invite your review and comments on a proposed Work-Around to the Pre-5378 Problem
On 2009-01-09 13:59, Stephen Farrell wrote:
+1 to fred's proposal, let the exceptions be just that and don't bother
most I-D authors,
On 8 Jan 2009, at 22:49, Fred Baker <fred(_at_)cisco(_dot_)com> wrote:
You asked me to make this comment publicly, so here it is.
In my opinion, we need a 5378-bis that keeps the good bits but
corrects the issue that has been problematic. The question before the
house is how best to achieve that. The proposal here is to provide a
work-around that enables an internet draft author to state that s/he
has not verified the transferability of his/her text, which will work
until an appropriate 5378-bis can be produced. This means that the
tools people have to produce and accept the work-around and later on
change the tools to accept 5378-bis, and it places a burden on authors
to make that statement.
From my perspective, the best approach involves keeping the general
case simple. The documents that have been transferred outside the IETF
in the past five years is a single digit number, a tenth of a percent
of all RFCs if not a smaller fraction.
If that was the main problem, I would agree. But it isn't; it's the ability
to allow appropriate use of extracts, including code extracts, in 3rd
party documents. That potentially concerns every RFC, and automatically
concerns every RFC that is a new version of an older one.
It isn't hard to fix in my opinion (well, I just posted a draft with
the proposed fix) and I don't see that it *requires* any tool fixes.
Optionally, the tools could provide a macro that expands to the
disclaimer text, but cut-and-paste would work equally well.
From my perspective, the
simplest solution to the transfer issue is to ask the people relevant
to a document for which transfer has been suggested whether they have
an issue with transferring it, rather than asking every document
author his or her opinion on the vast majority of documents, which
will never be transferred. Remember that this boilerplate affects
internet drafts, but most internet drafts are discussion documents - a
fraction of internet drafts even become RFCs, and a small fraction of
RFCs are transferred elsewhere.
As to the other issues that 5378 addresses, I suspect that a better
approach will be to fall back to 3978/4748/2026 temporarily and move
to 5378-bis when it comes rather than to use this very general
workaround to 5378's issues until 5378-bis is resolved. 3978 etc
worked just fine for most purposes...
On Jan 8, 2009, at 1:43 PM, Ed Juskevicius wrote:
The purpose of this message is twofold:
1) To summarize the issues that some members of our community
have experienced since the publication of RFC 5378 in November 2008,
2) To invite community review and discussion on a potential work-around
being considered by the IETF Trustees.
Some I-D authors are having difficulty implementing RFC 5378. An
example of the difficulty is as follows:
- an author wants to include pre-5378 content in a new submission
or contribution to the IETF, but
- s/he is not certain that all of the author(s) of the earlier
material have agreed to license it to the IETF Trust according
to RFC 5378.
If an I-D author includes pre-5378 material in a new document, then s/he
must represent or warrant that all of the authors who created the
pre-5378 material have granted rights for that material to the IETF
If s/he cannot make this assertion, then s/he has a problem.
This situation has halted the progression of some Internet-Drafts and
interrupted the publication of some RFCs. The Trustees of the IETF
are investigating ways to implement a temporary work-around so that IETF
work can continue to progress. A permanent solution to this "pre-5378
problem" may require an update to RFC 5378, for example new work by the
community to create a 5378-bis document.
The remainder of this message provides an outline of the temporary work-
around being considered by the Trustees.
RFC 5378 sections 1.j and 5.3.c provide the IETF Trust with the
authority to develop legend text for authors to use in situations where
they wish to limit the granting of rights to modify and prepare
derivatives of the documents they submit. The Trustees used this
authority in 2008 to develop and adopt the current "Legal Provisions
Relating to IETF Documents" which are posted at:
The Trustees are now considering the creation of optional new legend
which could be used by authors experiencing the "pre-5378 problem".
The new legend text, if implemented, would do the following:
a. Provide Authors and Contributors with a way to identify (to the
IETF Trust) that their contributions contain material from pre-5378
documents for which RFC 5378 rights to modify the material outside
the IETF standards process may not have been granted, and
b. Provide the IETF Trust and the community with a clear indication
of every document containing pre-5378 content and having the
So, how could the creation and use of some new legend text help people
work-around the pre-5378 problem?
The proposed answer is as follows:
1. Anyone having a contribution with the "pre-5378" problem should add
new legend text to the contribution, to clearly flag that it includes
pre-5378 material for which all of the rights needed under RFC 5378
may not have been granted, and
2. The IETF Trust will consider authors and contributors (with the
pre-5378 problem) to have met their RFC 5378 obligations if the
new legend text appears on their documents, and
3. Authors and contributors should only resort to adding the new
legend text to their documents (per #1) if they cannot develop
certainty that all of the author(s) of pre-5378 material in
their documents have agreed to license the pre-5378 content to
the IETF Trust according to RFC 5378.
The proposed wording for the new legend text is now available for your
review and comments in section 6.c.iii of a draft revision to the
IETF Trust's "Legal Provisions Relating to IETF Documents" located at
Please note that the above document also contains new text in section
dealing with "License Limitations".
If your review and feedback on this proposed work-around is positive,
then the new text may be adopted by the Trustees in early February 2009,
and then be published as an official revision to the Legal Provisions
document. If so adopted, Internet-Drafts with pre-5378 material may
advance within the Internet standards process and get published as RFCs
where otherwise qualified to do so. Unless covered by sections 6.c.i or
6.c.ii, authors of documents in which there is no pre-5378
material must provide a RFC 5378 license with no limitation on
modifications outside the IETF standards process.
The IETF Trust will not grant the right to modify or prepare derivative
works of any specific RFC or other IETF Contribution outside the IETF
standards process until RFC 5378 rights pertaining to that document have
been obtained from all authors and after compliance by the IETF Trust
with RFC 5377. The Trustees will establish one or more mechanisms by
which authors of pre-5378 documents may grant RFC 5378 rights.
The Trustees hereby invite your review, comments and suggestions on this
proposed work-around to the "pre-5378 problem". The period for this
is 30 days. Microsoft WORD and PDF versions of the proposed
attached to this message. Copies are also available on the IETF Trust
website under the heading "DRAFT Policy and Procedures Being
All feedback submitted before the end of February 7th will be
the Trustees. A decision on whether to move forward with this
be made and communicated to you before the end of February 15th.
Please give this your attention.
Regards and Happy New Year !
Ed Juskevicius, on behalf of the IETF Trustees
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