The IETF legal counsel and insurance agent suggest that the IETF
ought to have an antitrust policy.
I would be interested in a brief explanation of why we need one now,
since we have gotten along without one for multiple decades.
Having worked with a lot of lawyers, my experience is that few lawyers
understand cost-benefit tradeoffs, and often recommend spending
unreasonably large amounts of money to defend against very remote
risks. Similarly, insurance agents will usually tell you to insure
against anything. (This is why NDAs are 12 pages long, and the
standard deductible on policies is usually an order of magnitude too
I don't know the particular lawyer and agent involved, and it's
possible they're exceptions to the rule, but before spending much
money, I would want to understand better what problem we are trying to
solve and what the realistic risk is. Also keep in mind that the main
effect of such a policy would be to shift whatever the risk is from
the IETF onto participants. It might also be educational, here's
things that might lead to personal legal risk if you talk about them,
but we don't need a formal policy for that.
I understand that some other SDOs have antitrust policies, but they
generally have organizational members, and other differences from the
IETF that make them only weakly analogous.
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