In a different venue it was suggested to me that the group (a university-based
research consortium) NOT have a detailed anti-trust policy. The university's
law firm felt that we would be covered so long as we up front reminded the
participants that they were adults and needed to follow the appropriate
anti-trust laws appropriate to their circumstance and jurisdiction. Saying so
once when they joined was thought to be more than sufficient.
The IETF does not have members, so we do not have the luxury of distinguishing
between members and the unwashed masses.
So, if the anti-trust policy is a one sentence line in the NOTE WELL telling
folks to remember to be law abiding, then I am all for it. If the anti-trust
policy is a statement that must be read before every meeting, call, and email
exchange, and that the IETF is responsible for monitoring mail lists to ensure
that no anti-competitive behavior is occurring, and that the IETF is taking
active measures to halt anti-competitive behavior, like removing emails from
archives, monitoring Jabber sessions and terminating participants in real time,
etc., then I am against it.
On Nov 28, 2011, at 2:27 PM, Ted Hardie wrote:
On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 11:10 AM, IETF Chair <chair(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org>
Sorry, can you expand on the threat model here? Are we developing one in
order to defend against some specific worry about our not having one?
Because it has become best practice in other SDOs? Because the insurance
agent wishes to see something in particular?
I hesitate to develop something that we have not needed in the past unless
it is clear what benefit it gives us. In particular, if we develop one
without some particular characteristic, do we lose the benefits of being
where we are now?
Recent suits against other SDOs is the source of the concern. The idea is t
make it clear which topics are off limits at IETF meetings and on IETF mail
lists. In this way, if such discussions take place, the good name of the
IETF can be kept clean.
Hmm, I would characterize our previous policy as a quite public statement
that no one is excluded from IETF discussion and decision making, along with
with reminders that what we are deciding is the technical standard, not the
resulting marketplace. What we can say beyond that without diving into
national specifics is obscure to me.
I agree with Dave that the first work product of an attorney should be a
non-normative explanation to the community of how having such a policy helps
and what it must say in order to get that benefit.
(I have to say that my personal experience is that prophylactic measures
against law suits tend to change the terms of the suits but not their
existence. In this case, suing someone because they did not enforce the
policy or the policy did not cover some specific jurisdiction's requirements
perfectly, seems like the next step. Your mileage may vary.)
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