One problem I see with that approach would be the inevitable replay of
TLS-auth -> a working group agrees up front that there is
patent-encumbered technology that is too useful to not include in the
spec (which has happened in the IETF in the past), that group would
therefore agree to follow that model, and then when they were done, a
firestorm of FSF folks who had not even read the material, much less
were aware of how the original decision had been reached, would assail
the IETF with "the sky is falling" emails about how the world will come
to an end if the IETF publishes the specification.
Apart from that, it would likely be a total rats nest to try and track
what work was done under what IPR agreement; allowing IPR policy
decisions to be made on a WG by WG basis would, IMO, be a nightmare,
except for the lawyers.
Behalf Of Hallam-Baker, Phillip
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 4:18 PM
To: TSG; John Levine
Subject: RE: Previous consensus on not changing patent policy
(Re:Referencesto Redphone's "patent")
Do you think that the IETF has changed direction though?
This is one of those issues where there is a faction that will
defend the status quo regardless of the flaws that are revealed. They
will wait till the end of the discussion and announce that there is no
consensus to do anything differently so they must win.
I really do not understand the justification for not allowing a
WG to state the IPR policy that will apply during the charter process.
If we are going to have people volunteer time an effort to create a
standard they have the right to know at the start whether the result
will be encumbered or if one particular party gets to set up a toll
In fact there are two very different status quos. There is the
defacto status quo and there is the de jure status quo. And it is rather
interesting that on every one of my pet IETF peeves, my position is the
defacto status quo and it is only the official status quo that is out of
Officially a working group does not need to set an IPR standard
In practice every working group in any part of the IETF I
participate in has to deliver a standard that is compliant with the W3C
policy that every essential part of the spec be implementable without
using encumbered technology. Attempts to do otherwise are totally
I guess it is possible that things are different outside the
security, applications and operations side, but I find it very hard to
believe that a necessary to implement technology at the Internet level
could be encumbered without creating a blogstorm of slashdot
Officially the specs are in the obsolete text format
In practice they are written in XML and the engineers
implementing them use either the HTML version or buy the O'Rielly
Officially there are three stages in the standards process
In practice there are two stages.
I really wish it was possible to have a discussion on this topic
without getting condescending lectures as to why it is absolutely
unthinkable to change the official status quo when folk are already
doing exactly what I have been suggesting for five years or more.
From: ietf-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org on behalf of TSG
Sent: Tue 2/17/2009 5:42 PM
To: John Levine
Subject: Re: Previous consensus on not changing patent policy
(Re: Referencesto Redphone's "patent")
John Levine wrote:
>> But are the 1,000 or so emails in recent days from the FSF
>> not a loud enough hum to recognize that our IPR policy is out
> Are you really saying that all it takes is a mob motivated by
> misleading screed to make the IETF change direction?
Yes - exactly that.
> >From the sample of the FSF letters I read, many of the people
> didn't know the difference between Redphone and Red Hat, and
> many as two of them had even looked at the draft or IPR
> question, it'd be a lot.
> The FSF's absolutist position on patents was set in stone 20
> ago. I don't see why we should be impressed if they
> throw a handful of pebbles at us.
> Ietf mailing list
Ietf mailing list
Ietf mailing list