On Mon Nov 23 10:03:25 2009, Simon Josefsson wrote:
John-Luc said he is bound by confidentiality obligations from his
company, and I think the same applies to most employees of larger
organizations. There is nothing explicit in BCP 79 to protect
this apparent conflict of interest, or is there?
Being horribly naïve, I'd have thought that it was obvious that if
you cannot satisfy both your obligations as an employee, and your
obligations as an IETF participant, then one or other rôle has to be
dropped - ie, either you quit your job, or cease to participate
within the IETF. I simply don't see what other solution there is, or
could be, and I don't see what on earth BCP 79 could usefully say.
So, as of now, it seems manifest that any RIM employees should not be
participating within the IETF until they have resolved this conflict
- indeed, I get the sense that this is RIM's decision, from the
statements that RIM employees have made on this list.
As I say, though, I am horribly naïve in my understanding of the word
"obligation", and I do appreciate that some organizations exist which
might put pressure on employees to participate in willful disregard
for the IPR rules. I also appreciate that those individuals affected
- especially in these times - would then be placed in a very
uncomfortable position - one I'm very glad not to be in.
The problem is, though, that an organization in such a position will
end up eventually be seen to be in such a position, meaning that they
are in the position of RIM as I outline above. That is, if the
intention is to take commercial advantage of ignoring the IETF's
rules for participants, then when such advantage is taken, it'll be
obvious that the rules have indeed been ignored, and will threaten
their ability to further participate.
There is an argument that RIM employees should be removed from all
IETF mailing lists until such time as RIM publically states they
shall henceforth follow IETF IPR rules, and order their employees to
do the same. This has happened to individuals before, when they have
clearly stated that they cannot follow the Note Well, and in this
case the employees are clearly stating much the same. I'd like to
think that this is not required - that, in effect, RIM have taken
more or less this decision themselves - but I do look forward to
RIM's explanation of how they intend to resolve the apparent conflict
of obligations they have foisted upon their employees.
Dave Cridland - mailto:dave(_at_)cridland(_dot_)net -
Infotrope Polymer - ACAP, IMAP, ESMTP, and Lemonade
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