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Re: IETF Last Call for two IPR WG Dcouments

2008-03-31 08:23:55

I agree with Joel.  We're trying to give instructions to the Trust that
cover the broadest possible user base; calling out specific licenses
or user bases either appears to privilege them or adds no value at
all.  Suggesting to the Trustees that they consider specific licenses
or, even better, pointing their lawyers at the potholes others have
hit would be very useful.  But this draft is not the place to do it.

I believe the document is the place to do it.  This is the only document
were the IETF explains how the Trust should write its outgoing software
license for code in RFCs.  Useful considerations for that process should
go into the document.

My proposed text does not suggest specific licenses.  That is a

        The list of potentially useful considerations in this arena is both long
and ever-changing.  Imagine, for a moment, that I suggested that the Trust
survey the legal departments of every organization which had sponsored
a nomcom-eligible participant in the IETF over the past 3 years asking, if the 
license was usable by their organization.  In some lights, this is a pretty 
suggestion.   These are organizations with a demonstrated interest in our
output, and surveys can be a useful tool even when response rates are low.
Why not confirm that we are meeting the needs of core participants?
        The answer, basically, is that we want the output to be usable by
anyone, and privileging the people who pay kind of misses the point.  We
are giving instructions to the Trust to do the best job they can in making
sure that the output is usable by anyone for any purpose, no matter whether
they belong to group A, group B, or won't know for many years that they'll
have an interest at all.
        As for how to get in touch with them, trustees of the trust are the
IAOC.  The IAOC's membership is listed here:

I am sure they will listen carefully to your concerns and will consider the
issues you raise.
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