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Re: RFC5321bis / RFC 2821ter

2008-12-15 00:26:04


As I presume everyone reading this is aware, RFC 2821 carried
forward a considerable amount of Jon Postel's text from RFC 821.
Most of that text, including some of the formerly-contentious
examples, is still present in 5321 and would have been present
in 5321bis.  While I believe that Jon would have granted the
rights to the IETF Trust that RFC 5378 requires, I have no
plausible way to verify that belief, much less any way to get
the required releases and transfers filed with the IETF Trust.
I have been advised that, if I, as Contributor of the current
versions, have to take personal responsibility for the validity
of such releases as 5378 appears to require, I should not
recognize any such release from Jon's estate unless it is
formally endorsed by a cognizant court _and_ USC/ISI formally
release any rights they might have to his individual work for
the IETF and its predecessors.

I am, and remain, optimistic that the IETF will figure out a way
out of what appears to me to be a self-created impasse.

Speaking as another contributor who had Jon Postel as a coauthor,
I must say I'm very worried by this mess. But the thing that worries 
me most is, unless I've missed some message on the IETF list, there
seems to be a rather stunning lack of apprecation of the existance
of this impasse amongst the powers-that-be.

The situation in regards to Jon Postel arguably affects a huge number of
documents because, as I'm sure you recall, at the time documents like RFC
1341/1342 (the original MIME specifications) were published Jon as RFC Editor
intpreted the editorial brief rather broadly and in many cases changed or
otherwise contributed text to many if not most documents that were published.

I also have to say that the thought of having to toddle off to my own lawyer
for advice on this doesn't exactly fill me with glee.


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