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Re: IETF Last Call for two IPR WG Dcouments

2008-03-28 07:24:23
I do not understand the problem you want addressed.  The way this is 
worded, it doesn't matter what "open source" or "free software" is or 
becomes.  The intention is to grant anyone to do anything with the code 
segments.  That's what we ask the trust to do. Further in line.

Simon Josefsson wrote:
Regarding -outbound section 4.3:


   As such, the rough consensus is that the IETF Trust is to grant
   rights such that code components of IETF contributions can be
   extracted, modified, and used by anyone in any way desired.  To
   enable the broadest possible extraction, modification and usage, the
   IETF Trust should avoid adding software license obligations beyond
   those already present in a contribution.  The granted rights to
   extract, modify and use code should allow creation of derived works
   outside the IETF that may carry additional license obligations.
This says that the trust is to grant rights so that code can be 
extracted, modified, and used by ANYONE.  I.e. our grant will not place 
restrictions on people.


I believe the intention here is good, but it leaves the IETF Trust with
no guidelines on how to write the license declaration that is likely to
work well in practice with actual products.  There are no reference to
what "open source" means in this context, and references to "free
software" is missing.

I believe it would be a complete failure if code-like portions of RFCs
cannot be included into open source and free software products such as
the Debian project.
If we grant anyone the right to use the code any way they want, which 
means that we specifically can not require preservation of notices or 
anything else, how could it fail to meet the requirements of the 
specific cases you list?

To give the Trust something concrete to work with I propose to add the

  To make sure the granted rights are usable in practice, they need to
  at least meet the requirements of the Open Source Definition [OSD],
  the Free Software Definition [FSD], and the Debian Free Software
  Guidelines [DFSG].

For those who fear that this will lead to complexity: releasing
something that is compatible with those requirements is simple.  The
modified BSD license meets those requirements, as does a number of other
methods, including releasing the work into the public domain.
My concern is not complexity.  Referencing the specific documents is 
more restrictive than what the working group recommended.  I don't see 
why that would help anything.

Joel M. Halpern
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