[antitrust-policy] Easy to quibble, so my strawman

Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie> Sat, 21 January 2012 00:05 UTC

Return-Path: <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>
X-Original-To: antitrust-policy@ietfa.amsl.com
Delivered-To: antitrust-policy@ietfa.amsl.com
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by ietfa.amsl.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 4F40721F869D for <antitrust-policy@ietfa.amsl.com>; Fri, 20 Jan 2012 16:05:18 -0800 (PST)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at amsl.com
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -102.599
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-102.599 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[AWL=0.000, BAYES_00=-2.599, USER_IN_WHITELIST=-100]
Received: from mail.ietf.org ([]) by localhost (ietfa.amsl.com []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id ZwEyaEVda8zI for <antitrust-policy@ietfa.amsl.com>; Fri, 20 Jan 2012 16:05:17 -0800 (PST)
Received: from scss.tcd.ie (hermes.cs.tcd.ie [IPv6:2001:770:10:200:889f:cdff:fe8d:ccd2]) by ietfa.amsl.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 6F5FB21F8659 for <antitrust-policy@ietf.org>; Fri, 20 Jan 2012 16:05:17 -0800 (PST)
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by hermes.scss.tcd.ie (Postfix) with ESMTP id BEDA6171CF3 for <antitrust-policy@ietf.org>; Sat, 21 Jan 2012 00:05:16 +0000 (GMT)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/simple; d=cs.tcd.ie; h= content-transfer-encoding:content-type:subject:mime-version :user-agent:from:date:message-id:received:received: x-virus-scanned; s=cs; t=1327104316; bh=9GtDFSssgS3bOdvVfNllcSWT 5U7MvrcsWOFYVoOIWGk=; b=uVo5wln2YQkAGbLXQ96CH0/4VYRaJb98/jiF8xmF AAr5h/oKRFidxsMJhG83R/chrUVynL3fxlV82egmwm2iCCc79f5tk1ia+4+t9J5J ImsgfG2PeDmTr1z57KLAyZZgcd6awvg3tJT+4CT36NvgflfoiEDhdx91DYTBJ+Xu SftMLXzzp3209RkWzT5yc5mcxPaPcYkeMp7xsTjYB5BJusIZoop3JRRgA5shyGE2 fX5pBplROAvAd1HKFcLdV0n+RW95IM4M3NT3wTHa47P/rxdgWw+LCj88qfsUVYtV w1Ob6qx25+U5yFYUzZCKR8DEQZxSDuw6Y0MXrbko1LhUWg==
X-Virus-Scanned: Debian amavisd-new at scss.tcd.ie
Received: from scss.tcd.ie ([]) by localhost (scss.tcd.ie []) (amavisd-new, port 10027) with ESMTP id yEZlfUnSOjer for <antitrust-policy@ietf.org>; Sat, 21 Jan 2012 00:05:16 +0000 (GMT)
Received: from [] (unknown []) by smtp.scss.tcd.ie (Postfix) with ESMTPSA id 446B5171CF1 for <antitrust-policy@ietf.org>; Sat, 21 Jan 2012 00:05:16 +0000 (GMT)
Message-ID: <4F1A013B.3020900@cs.tcd.ie>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2012 00:05:15 +0000
From: Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686 on x86_64; rv:9.0) Gecko/20111222 Thunderbird/9.0.1
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: antitrust-policy@ietf.org
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1"; format="flowed"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Subject: [antitrust-policy] Easy to quibble, so my strawman
X-BeenThere: antitrust-policy@ietf.org
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.12
Precedence: list
List-Id: "Discuss the need for an antitrust or competition policy for the IETF." <antitrust-policy.ietf.org>
List-Unsubscribe: <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/options/antitrust-policy>, <mailto:antitrust-policy-request@ietf.org?subject=unsubscribe>
List-Archive: <http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/antitrust-policy>
List-Post: <mailto:antitrust-policy@ietf.org>
List-Help: <mailto:antitrust-policy-request@ietf.org?subject=help>
List-Subscribe: <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/antitrust-policy>, <mailto:antitrust-policy-request@ietf.org?subject=subscribe>
X-List-Received-Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2012 00:05:18 -0000

I've no idea if this is very useful but in the spirit of not
just quibbling, here's a quick not very thoughtful strawman
for what I think we might usefully say on this topic.


There's a thing called anti-trust in the US and competition law in
the EU and probably other things elsewhere.  Basically, the idea
is to prevent some companies ganging up on others and being bold.
In theory, the IETF could get dragged into some dispute related to
that, or to some government or regulatory investigation of that
kind of thing. We'd rather not.

So, please check that out and don't be bold.

If you don't know what this means then go looking and ask your
boss. If you don't have a boss, there's probably no damage you can
do here if you're not a WG chair or something. If you are a WG
chair or something then ask on the wgchairs list if you don't know
what to do.

For most IETF participants, someone in your organisation should
understand what it means to be good about this. So start by asking

But remember, for the IETF its the technical content that matters
most, not all this policy stuff.

Need examples?

- A bunch of companies having a secret meeting where they agree to
promote or try kill some Internet-draft for non-technical reason
would be a bad thing here.

- Saying that a WG should only work on an I-D if an IPR
declaration's terms are changed to 1% of net revenue would not be

- It is ok to say "I don't understand your IPR declaration - what
does <that bit> mean?" But its not ok to haggle with the IPR

A mixture of common sense, reading about the topic and checking
with any local bosses should get you to where you know what's
appropriate and what's not.

If not, then ask. Send a mail to antitrust-policy@ietf.org and you
may get an answer. (It won't be legal advice or anything but it
might help.)