[antitrust-policy] how does that affect those with no competitive interests?

Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie> Fri, 20 January 2012 21:42 UTC

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Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2012 21:42:39 +0000
From: Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>
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To: Russ Housley <housley@vigilsec.com>
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Cc: antitrust-policy@ietf.org
Subject: [antitrust-policy] how does that affect those with no competitive interests?
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I have no skin in the money games around the IETF these
days since I currently work in a University.

The same is true of a bunch of IETF participants of
various kinds, at various times over the duration of their

Why can't I just ignore all this, since I'm not being
anti-competitive even if I do some of these supposedly
bad things?

If (as I believe) I basically can, in terms of the
various known competition/anti-trust laws, then this
putative policy would cause us to be distinguishing
between IETF participants on the basis of their
employers (or lack thereof) which I think is a bad

As it happens, since I've currently got an IETF management
hat, I don't believe that I am currently able to ignore
the kinds of constraint. Read the above as if I had no
such hat. I also believe that one shouldn't do some of
these things since it'd be dumb. But that's also beside
the point.


On 01/15/2012 08:38 PM, Russ Housley wrote:
>> Based on the length of this thread, it is clear to me that more discussion is needed, but I do not think that the IETF mail list is the place to have it.  So, the antitrust-policy mail list has been set up to continue the discussion.
>> It is clear to me that many people are questioning what would go in such a policy.  I have been working on a strawman.  It is short, but it answers the question about what topics would be covered.  I will post that strawman to the antitrust-policy mail list for discussion from two perspectives.  First, does the IETF want to adopt an antitrust policy.  Second, the strawman will provide the basis for a conversation on the content of such a policy if the consensus is that the IETF wants to adopt one.
>> I'll wait a few days so that people have time to join the antitrust-policy mail list before the discussion begins.
> When I announced this mail list, I said that i would post a strawman to answer the question about what such a policy would include.  Here it is.
> Russ
> === === === === ===
> Existing IETF process and procedures were specifically designed to avoid
> problems with antitrust and competition laws.  The IETF has an open
> decision process, explicit rules for intellectual property, and a
> well-defined appeals process.  All of these contribute to the robust
> standards development process used by the IETF.
> Yet, it is worth reminding all IETF participants that all IETF meetings,
> including virtual meetings, shall be conducted in compliance with all
> applicable laws, including antitrust and competition laws.
> Some participants at IETF meetings are undoubtedly employed by
> competitors of the employers of other IETF meeting participants.
> Accordingly, IETF meeting participants are expected to avoid even
> the appearance of impropriety.
> IETF meeting participants MUST NOT:
>   - discuss product prices, product profits, internal product cost,
>     bidding, terms of bidding, allocation of customers, division of
>     sales markets, sales territories, or marketing strategies;
>   - condition or discuss conditioning the implementation of an IETF
>     specification on the implementer’s use of products or services from
>     a particular supplier;
>   - discuss agreements to collectively refuse or conditionally refuse to
>     do business with a particular supplier;
>   - suggest any action for the purpose of giving one company or a few
>     companies significant competitive advantage over others;
>   - present or exchange proprietary information; or
>   - share non-public status or substance of ongoing or threatened
>     litigation.
> All IETF meeting participants MUST disclose patents or patent
> applications reasonably and personally known to them.  Please
> review the IETF IPR rules in RFC 3979.
> IETF meeting participants MAY:
>   - discuss technical considerations of any proposals, including relative
>     costs to implement, operate, and support them;
>   - discuss licensing costs of essential patent claims associated with
>     different technical approaches;
>    - discuss the likelihood that adoption of a particular technical
>      approach would subject implementers to a greater or lesser risk of
>      patent litigation;
>    - discuss or present broad market potential or market requirements for
>      informational purposes.
> If you observe behavior in violation of these guidelines at an IETF
> meeting, please do not be silent; formally object.
> _______________________________________________
> antitrust-policy mailing list
> antitrust-policy@ietf.org
> https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/antitrust-policy