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Re: IETF Last Call for two IPR WG Dcouments

2008-03-30 08:42:42
At 11:15 AM +0200 3/30/08, Simon Josefsson wrote:
If the trust uses a software license for code that doesn't meet the
requirements in, say, the DFSG, would you consider that a failure?  If
that happens, Debian cannot include such code.

At 11:25 AM +0200 3/30/08, Simon Josefsson wrote:
There are examples of projects with good intentions that want to give
everyone the right to use code they publish in any way to end up with
copying conditions that prevent some subset of the community from using
the software.

Look at the mailing list archive of debian-legal.  Most of the software
licenses that are reviewed there have been written by organizations that
wants open source-friendly distribution of their code, but happens to
make one mistake or the other.

These are interesting points, but maybe not interesting in the way 
you intended. If some large group (in this example, the Debian folks) 
want to have some restriction on what they can use in their software, 
that's fine. But that doesn't mean that the IETF needs to do anything 
beyond what it wants to do in order to cater to that group's current 
desires. Every such group could act just like the IETF does: look 
around at what the problems it is facing and change the way it acts 
based on an analysis of the problems.

It is the responsibility of the IETF Trust to consider what its 
actions would be for the whole world. These distributions are 
important. So is CiscoIBMMicrosoftEtc. So is 
TeenyStartupNascentISPEtc.

There will *always* be FOSS groups with different ideas of what their 
requirements are. You listed three in the Linux world. Those of us 
who swim in the BSD world have our own. Every well-intentioned 
organization has their gourd vs. shoe decisions (apologies for the 
Life of Brian reference, but is sure seems appropriate here).

If people involved in free software licensing have trouble getting this
right, I have little confidence that people not involved in the free
software licensing will get the right.

Fully agree. And this is an indication that the FOSS folks have equal 
responsibility for the problem you describe.

Providing them with some
mechanism to test their proposed license against (i.e., the
OSD/FSD/DFSG) will help to avoid at least the most basic mistakes.

Fully agree. Offer to help the IETF Trust with this; I suspect that 
CiscoIBMMicrosoftEtc will. That's different that forcing a 
requirement into the spec.

Ray asked if there were some reason to not use the NPOSL for this.  I
read that to imply that he thought the license would be a candidate.  If
my proposed text has been part of the documents, we could easily explain
how and why that license doesn't meet a needed criteria.

So could an email to him and the rest of the Trust. Note the difference.

--Paul Hoffman, Director
--VPN Consortium
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