Trustees License Use of Templates in RFCs

IETF Administrative Director <iad@ietf.org> Thu, 12 March 2015 12:43 UTC

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From: IETF Administrative Director <iad@ietf.org>
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Subject: Trustees License Use of Templates in RFCs
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Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2015 05:43:00 -0700
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The Trustees of the IETF Trust decided by e-vote on 10 March 2015 to
add the following section to the Trust Legal Provisions licensing
the use of Templates in RFCs:

9.  Template Text

a.  Certain RFCs may contain text designated as “Template Text” by
the inclusion of the following legend in the introduction to the
RFC: “This RFC contains text intended for use as a template as
designated below by the markers <BEGIN TEMPLATE TEXT> and <END
TEMPLATE TEXT> or other clear designation.  Such Template Text is
subject to the provisions of Section 9(b) of the Trust Legal
Provisions.”

b.   In addition to the other rights granted under the TLP with
respect to each RFC, the Trust grants to all interested persons a
non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license
under all copyrights and rights of authors to insert specific
information in place of blanks or place-holders in the Template
Text, and to reproduce, publish and distribute the Template Text
combined with such insertions.

The Trust had been requested by the IESG and RFC Editor to provide a
license in cases where RFCs contain Templates.  The Trustees
proposed language to the community and clarified the proposed
language based upon the community input.

The Trustees will ratify their e-vote at its next schedule meeting
on 25 March 2015 in accordance with its Administrative Procedures
regarding electronic voting and then publish the next version of the
Trust Legal Provisions, TLP 5.0.

The Trust posted a request for review by the community on 27 January
2015. The comment period ran until 25 February 2015.

A number of specific matters were brought up that included:

1.  Text seemed to permit modification of the template text itself.
The text was revised to make the aim clearer:

Original Proposed Language for paragraph b:

b.   In addition to the other rights granted under the TLP with
respect to each RFC, the Trust grants to all interested persons a
non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license
under all copyrights and rights of authors to make, reproduce,
publish and distribute modifications of the Template Text (e.g., to
insert specific information in place of blanks or place-holders),
and reproduce, modify and distribute such modified Template Text.

2.  Option cannot be used on template based on pre-5378 RFCs.

Considered a non-issue for the TLP text since the enabling text
needs to be in the template RFC and any issue of pre-5378 can be
addressed at the time of the publication of the template RFC.

3.  Do I have to use this?

No, it is voluntary, however if you are writing a template RFC it
would be unworkable for its intended use as a template to not use
it.

4.  Should we go back to “do what you want with RFCs”?

Topic is out of scope for this particular matter, but re-discussing
may be inevitable in the future.


Ray Pelletier 
Trustee 
IETF Trust 
IETF Administrative Director