Re: [antitrust-policy] Should the IETF allow discussion of licensing costs

Stephen Farrell <> Fri, 20 January 2012 21:21 UTC

Return-Path: <>
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 5F47F21F8587 for <>; Fri, 20 Jan 2012 13:21:07 -0800 (PST)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
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 ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id o+idrENpkbYe for <>; Fri, 20 Jan 2012 13:21:06 -0800 (PST)
Received: from ( [IPv6:2001:770:10:200:889f:cdff:fe8d:ccd2]) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 6F3B421F85A2 for <>; Fri, 20 Jan 2012 13:21:05 -0800 (PST)
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id BA2EC171CF4; Fri, 20 Jan 2012 21:21:04 +0000 (GMT)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/simple;; h= content-transfer-encoding:content-type:in-reply-to:references :subject:mime-version:user-agent:from:date:message-id:received :received:x-virus-scanned; s=cs; t=1327094464; bh=Ey2Kw3ogrOi8WS DF/7p18IFeQlyU9Z9rchO55gcHt/A=; b=fJW+esHtkW0S7ay2pM4LOBYMMoNk0E dIy9C9IAm50wpIMY3dMk/16tfd2eYDI8tpmN070fxtgp3KBN1BxMNXNL5oMUKXm0 gKxlEq9yYL/qkaqLpHnwLZ0hwUKLiegW9xTxFm6Kc7SaHlSh+hcOqmlhG/cmed9K nqR3o4gfezxyK8E+yGIgUjm+LsXa3hgt1lmswyZlWFIjry1DkapA92ceId8OgFuJ bfWv/T85E+8LSUStz0ptDLEd/U6xvR3s8Oc12zUJTo5xUuDN18oiF3YGaUCN/3wV syHw0YZNt8ADlYwxVMhsW/6WtJ2JyXHEb5QLF8Huk2x2vzRgHEmh299A==
X-Virus-Scanned: Debian amavisd-new at
Received: from ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10027) with ESMTP id c3hzCDDF3KvF; Fri, 20 Jan 2012 21:21:04 +0000 (GMT)
Received: from [] (unknown []) by (Postfix) with ESMTPSA id 43581171CF3; Fri, 20 Jan 2012 21:21:03 +0000 (GMT)
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2012 21:21:03 +0000
From: Stephen Farrell <>
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: Russ Housley <>
References: <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1"; format="flowed"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Cc:, Jorge Contreras <>
Subject: Re: [antitrust-policy] Should the IETF allow discussion of licensing costs
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.12
Precedence: list
List-Id: "Discuss the need for an antitrust or competition policy for the IETF." <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Archive: <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-List-Received-Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2012 21:21:07 -0000

On 01/20/2012 09:14 PM, Russ Housley wrote:
>>>>   - discuss licensing costs of essential patent claims associated with
>>>>     different technical approaches;
>> This point in the strawman has lead to a disagreement.  Some say that this should not be allowed, and they point to the policies of other SDOs that prohibit it.  On the other side of this issue, Jorge points out that these SDOs are being very conservative, and he says that it is not prohibited by current antitrust and competitive laws.
>> This leads me to a question: Does the IETF need to be able to include discussion of licensing costs?  In other words, is it sufficient to distinguish between 'royalty free' and 'not royalty free'?
>> Russ
>> Russ -- I'd rephrase this last question, as I believe that most people said that mere disclosure of licensing costs did not bother them, but some felt uncomfortable with discussion of licensing costs.  Maybe it is most accurate to ask:
>> 1.  Should disclosure of licensing terms be allowed?
>> 2.  Should disclosure of licensing terms be required?
>> 3.  If you said yes to either 1 or 2, should discussion of those licensing costs be allowed?
> Jorge:
> The current IPR rules allow disclosure of terms.  Most organizations that do something other than the non-assert approach have chosen to commit to reasonable and non-discriminatory license.  That commitment does not actually tell us the cost.  This policy is not the place to require the disclosure of terms.  It a change is desired in that area, it ought to be discussed on the the IPR mail list.
> So, if terms are disclosed, do we want to allow discussion of them?

We need to be able to understand any disclosed terms. There are
various IPR disclosures that have been posted that I don't
understand. E.g. if the terms are RF for a standard but the
document is informational etc.

That kind of "discussion" needs to be allowed or else the
WG cannot really make a good decision.

I don't know how to sensibly draw a line between that, and
what we don't want to see, e.g. haggling over the price.


> Russ
> _______________________________________________
> antitrust-policy mailing list