Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 18:40:52 +0200
From: Harald Alvestrand <harald(_at_)alvestrand(_dot_)no>
| I'm afraid that your perception disagrees with the structure that RFC
| 5378 set up.
I was misunderstanding what's going on, Joel has been educating me off list...
But while my reasoning changes slightly, my conclusion does not.
| The Trust has enough rights to license code under a license
| of its choice, and has currently chosen to use the BSD license.
I think we can agree that the trust (the IETF) cannot give away more
rights than it has obtained from the contributor (however much they are,
and if that's "everything related to copyright" that's fine).
I can think of no reason why the trust (IETF) should ever offer less
than what the contributor has allowed - that would be entirely contrary
to the purposes for which we need licences from the contributor in the
first place - the aim is to make sure that the code is available with
as few restrictions as possible, having the trust add restrictive licence
terms would be counter productive (regardless of what those terms are).
If all that's reasonable, then it follows that licence in == licence out,
and while it is possible that might be change from time to time, the
change must be to the licence in first, and that then means that the
licence out change affects only those RFCs published after the change,
one earlier must still be on the old terms (if the change was broadening
the licence to the IETF, then no earlier submission by anyone would be
broader in the new way, and so the outgoing licence could not be the new
broader form, if the change is to narrow the rights given to the IETF,
that will necessarily narrow what the IETF can grant users of the code,
but there's no reason it should restrict the rights granted under older
submissions, that were published with a broader grant to the IETF.
So, I remain fairly convinced that there's no need at all to ever
make (or pretend to make) any change which would ever require updating all
past RFCs, a change should only ever affect future publications.
ps; there is no assumption in anything above that every RFC must necessarily
have the exact same licence terms, negotiation with contributors might
sometimes be reasonable, nothing above is altered by this, what matters is
that the licence granted to the IETF for any particular code segment should
be exactly the licence the IETF grants to users of that code.
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