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RE: RC2 Licensing

1997-04-15 12:23:32
Steve, I know this is a delecate subject, but I'm not at all sure that the
domestic issue is moot.  There is certainly a community of free and
share-ware developers that don't have access to RC2 now that would probably
like to have access to it.  The question is how important is that
community. There are still large segments of the Internet e-mail community
that use freeware like Pine. In fact I believe the most UNIX internet
e-mail is freeware based as there are few commercial products.  This may
become an issue as folks try to deploy S/MIME.

I'm also not sure that the IETF views this issue as moot. I don't recall
the discussions at the BOF being qualified as domestic versus
international. My understanding was that any technology that was encumbered
indefinitely was a problem.


At 11:11 AM -0700 4/15/97, Steve Dusse wrote:
Hi Walt,

RSA's official position on RC2 is that it is a trade secret and that any
implementation of RC2 anywhere in the world, other than the copyrighted
code in RSA's software toolkits, was derived from RSA's toolkits
illegally (e.g. via reverse engineering or otherwise).

We are working very hard to come up with a licensing scheme that is
acceptable to everyone (an oxymoron of sorts...) for use in S/MIME.
Most of the US e-mail vendors have already licensed this technology so
the issue domestically is fairly moot.  Internationally, we have a much
greater challenge, how to get RC2 technology legally to overseas S/MIME
developers in toolkit form.  Not an easy task.  Suggestions are welcome.

Steve Dusse

Sent:         Tuesday, April 15, 1997 8:13 AM
To:   smime-dev(_at_)RSA(_dot_)COM
Subject:      RC2 Licensing

Lindsay Mathieson asked the question regarding the licensing issues of
RC2 (or other RSA algorithms) outside of the RSA toolkits (i.e. using
the crypl200 library).  If there was a response, can you please repeat
it.  I seemed to have missed it.

Walt Boland

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