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IETF process (was How many 2.6 users?)

1997-11-05 15:48:03

On Wed, 5 Nov 1997, Ian Grigg wrote:
Can someone please post or point me at an authoritive reference to the
IETF policy that has been mentioned, to whit, will not accept encumbered

( While we're at it, it has been mentioned that there is an IETF policy
that there be an unencumbered implementation - does anybody have an
authoritive reference on that as well?)

Sorry for jumping into the fray here. I'm no expert on IETF process, but 
I did look into this issue a couple of months ago when there was a 
similar debate on the S/MIME list.

I believe that the most relevant document explaining IETF process is RFC 
2026. Quoting section 10.3.2(c), which is relevant for standards track 

   (C)  Where the IESG knows of rights, or claimed rights under (A), the
      IETF Executive Director shall attempt to obtain from the claimant
      of such rights, a written assurance that upon approval by the IESG
      of the relevant Internet standards track specification(s), any
      party will be able to obtain the right to implement, use and
      distribute the technology or works when implementing, using or
      distributing technology based upon the specific specification(s)
      under openly specified, reasonable, non-discriminatory terms.
      The Working Group proposing the use of the technology with respect
      to which the proprietary rights are claimed may assist the IETF
      Executive Director in this effort.  The results of this procedure
      shall not affect advancement of a specification along the
      standards track, except that the IESG may defer approval where a
      delay may facilitate the obtaining of such assurances.  The
      results will, however, be recorded by the IETF Executive Director,
      and made available.  The IESG may also direct that a summary of
      the results be included in any RFC published containing the

   So the existence of patented technology (such as RSA or IDEA) would 
seem to be not necessarily a problem, as long as the patent is licensed 
under appropriately "open" terms. Whether RSA meets this standard is open 
to question - certainly they have been accused by their detractors of 
non-openness in their licensing process.

   Hope this helps.


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