Request for comments on proposed changes to the IETF Trust Legal Provisions (TLP)

Marshall Eubanks <> Fri, 23 October 2009 18:50 UTC

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Subject: Request for comments on proposed changes to the IETF Trust Legal Provisions (TLP)
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 14:50:37 -0400
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The Trustees are proposing changes to the Legal Provisions Relating to  
IETF Documents effective September 12, 2009 (TLP 3.0).  This is a  
formal request for community review.  The review period will be for  
thirty days and end on November 24, 2009

The changes are required based upon a request from the RFC Editor on  
behalf of the Independent Submissions Stream, and from the IRTF  
Steering Group (IRSG) on behalf of the IRTF Stream (Alternate Streams)  
that the IETF Trust act as the license administrators for the RFCs  
produced by their streams.  The basic intent of these changes is to  
both make changes necessary to accept these new streams, and to make  
it possible for these new streams to operate under "Postel Rules."   
Additional minor changes are sought by the Trustees to clarify  
language in TLP 3.0.

The Trustees believe the following changes are necessitated by the  
request of the RFC Editor and IRSG,

a.  Section 1. -- eliminated reference to "IETF Standards Process" to  
broaden scope for Alternate Streams.  Also added a sentence  
acknowledging the addition of Alternate Streams.

b. Section 6.a -- deleted "to IETF" so that this legend can be used in  
Alternate Stream documents in a less confusing way.

c. Section 7.f -- removed references to IETF Standards Process to  
accommodate Alternate Stream usage.

d. Section 8.a -- this paragraph provides some background/context for  
readers who have not been following the Alternate Stream discussion.   
It references RFC 4844 (which defines the Alternate Streams).

e. Section 8.b -- this paragraph says that Alternate Stream managers  
(as defined in 4844) can request that the IETF Trust act as the  
licensing administrator for their Alternate Stream documents, and that  
the Trust will do this, acting in accordance with their request and  
the Trust's legal obligations.

f. Section 8.c -- this paragraph contains the basic license grants for  
the Alternate Streams.  Essentially, Alternate Stream contributions  
are licensed TO the Trust on the terms of 5378, and are licensed BY  
the Trust on the terms of the TLP (subject to any exceptions noted in  
later paragraphs).

g. Section 8.d -- IMPORTANT:  clarifies that Alternate Stream  
contributors must ensure that they have all necessary rights to make  
their contributions, including the right to contribute previously- 
published material.  There is no pre-5378 legend/carve-out for  
Alternate Stream documents, and authors of contributions in these  
streams take full responsibility for the entire contents of their  
contributions, whether or not they re-use older material.  This is a  
different approach than for IETF Contributions, which have the  
pre-5378 legend escape-valve for older material.

h. Section 8.e - g -- there is a separate paragraph for each of the  
IAB, Independent and IRTF streams.  Each of their "requests" to the  
Trust is made in a separate document and may have a different  
effective date, so it seemed cleaner to treat them separately.  In  
each of these paragraphs there is a clause stating that there are no  
limits on making derivative works of these documents unless specific  
no-derivatives legends are included.

The changes requested by the Trustees are as follows:

i. Section 2.c -- bug fix:  first reference was to contributions and  
documents, second was only to documents.  "Contributions" was added  
for parallel construction.

j. Sections 4.e, 6.b and 6.d -- added "Simplified" before "BSD  
License" for consistent usage.

The proposed revisions as TLP 4.0 are in rtf, pdf and doc formats and  
located at: under  
Draft Policies and Procedures for IETF Documents. There is also a 3.0  
diff file in doc and pdf formats at the same location.

The discussion of these proposed changes is taking place on the TLP- 
interest mailing list.  One may subscribe to the TLP mailing list at:

If during the 30 day community review period the proposal is revised,  
the Trust may withdraw or modify the proposal, publish it and reset  
the counter to begin a new 30 day review period before the comment  
period is over.

If textual changes are needed after the 30 day community review  
period, the Trust may modify the proposal, publish it and announce a  
14 day review period.

Please accept this message as a formal request by the IETF Trustees  
for your review and feedback on the proposed revision to the TLP  
document. The comment period will end on November 24, 2009.

Regards, and thanks in advance,

Marshall Eubanks
IETF Trust Chair