--On Friday, January 09, 2009 15:25 -0800 Dave CROCKER
This is EXACTLY the approach we should be using: Formulate a
set of goals, get agreement on them, and only then ask the
laywers to turn that informal specification into competent
The difference was like night and day.
That matches my experience, over the years.
If my memory is correct, that was exactly the basis on which the
most recent IPR WG was told to proceed. For one reason or
another, it ended up expressing its ideas of the principles in
the form of quasi-legal documents (or, if you prefer, documents
containing legal-language statements) rather than publishing a
clear statement of those principles independent of those
In fairness to the WG, that turned out to be easier, especially
in the absence of clear consensus about which problems were most
If the community -- and assorted ADs -- learn anything from this
experience it should be, IMO, that if such a document shows up
on Last Call instead of (or without) a normative statement of
principles against which legal text can be checked and verified,
we should Just Say No.
But that discussion doesn't help much with the short-term
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