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Re: Reviewing the IPR Trust aggreement

2005-11-28 08:01:19

--On Monday, 28 November, 2005 06:12 -0800 Bernard Aboba
<aboba(_at_)internaut(_dot_)com> wrote:

Lucy E. Lynch said:

"Again, under discussion. Clarifying text may not be the
answer here - we will publish an inventory of the data moved
to the trust and will update the FAQ with text clarifying the
understanding of all the parties regarding historical data
that is stored in difficult to retrieve formats. Note that
anything currently available via IETF servers (current or not)
will be included in the transfer."

The concern is over "historical data" that may be stored in
"difficult to  retrieve formats" by one of the Settlors, but
is freely available  elsewhere.  For example, expired Internet
Drafts, meeting materials cached  on Google, etc.  As it
stands, the document only transfers the rights to  materials
that are currently available to the settlors -- even if those 
materials are available elsewhere. 

It seems like the IPR Trust should have the ability to request
the  transfer of rights to "historical data" without
necessarily triggering the  retrieval process, if that
historical data is already available.

One of the suggestions that has been made to the IAOC, and which
I hope is part of the current discussion, is for the Settlors to
immediately renounce, or "quit" to the Trust, any and all
claimed rights to any materials that are generally available to
the IETF community.  Such a provision would cover both of the
examples you list and several others we could manage to think

The notion of doing things on the basis of lists and inventories
scares me for two reasons.  The first is that, if there is some
dispute later, such lists, unless very carefully handled, can be
taken as agreement that the relevant Settlor had those rights
and legitimate claims in the first place and, potentially, that
some other claims were equally valid.  And  the second is that
anything inadvertently omitted, or ambiguously identified, from
such a list becomes a target of opportunity in any future
discussion or disagreement.   Also remember, again, that, should
there be a future dispute, especially a dispute to which one of
the Settlors is a party, any clarifications or explanations that
are confined to the FAQ are so much noise.

I am personally in favor of the Trust plan, on balance, if it
definitively settles all of the outstanding issues between the
IETF and CNRI (and, to the extent relevant, ISOC) and permits us
to move forward without a need to either look out for obstacles
in the road ahead or over our shoulders for what might be
sneaking up behind us.  If it, instead, created opportunities or
a foundation for future disagreements that tie the IETF or IASA
in knots, then it would be, IMO, a serious mistake.


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