Re: Change in IPR policies

John C Klensin <> Tue, 09 June 2020 20:56 UTC

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Date: Tue, 09 Jun 2020 16:55:54 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: "Scott O. Bradner" <>,, IETF Discussion Mailing List <>
Subject: Re: Change in IPR policies
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--On Tuesday, June 9, 2020 16:23 -0400 "Scott O. Bradner"
<> wrote:

> relative to John's point #2
> does this mean that the IETF will not be making the session
> recordings openly available? - there seems  to be no reason
> for a distribution prohibition otherwise
> (for example see
> - it list
> the audio & video recordings)

I am quite sure I have seen a clear announcement of a commitment
to make all WG and Plenary sessions available on YouTube.  If
everything that is distributed at the meeting is going to be
make available that way, I don't see any reason for this
prohibition unless it is intended to prevent private recordings
from "scooping" the "official" ones on YouTube.   But that risk
has existed for years, the problem has never occurred (or at
least has never had any impact of which I'm aware) and I see
nothing about this message or COVID-19-induced emergencies that
would justify imposing it now without careful consideration.

The precise statement, just copied from the main registration
page at, reads

	"All registrants are prohibited from distributing or
	broadcasting any electronic recordings of meeting events
	(including plenaries, tutorials, working group sessions,
	etc.) without IETF's prior written consent."

Whether intended or not, if I join a "hallway" Jabber
discussion, copy part of it, and distribute it to some
colleagues, IANAL but that is almost certainly an "electronic
recording" or a "meeting event".   If only audio or video were
intended, the prohibition should have said so.

When one clicks "Register now" and "Online Full Week", one gets
A similar statement appears with the last "Policies" check box,
that one reading:

	"I understand that I may not distribute or broadcast any
	electronic recordings of meeting events (including
	plenaries, tutorials, working group sessions, etc.)
	without IETF's prior written consent"  

Which, referring to Brian's comment about all of that being
invalid without community consultation and a Trust announcement,
reads to me as if one could, at least in principle, try to
enforce such a rule based on "understanding" and agreement
whether the policy itself were valid or not.  Again, I hope
someone consulted legal counsel about this.

> if so, that would, as John points out, would be a rather big
> change and I did not see any discussion of any proposal to
> make such a change - can you point me to the archive of the
> discussion - thanks


Also, "Policies" check box above that prohibition reads 

	"I have read and understand the IETF Note Well"

with "Note Well" as a hyperlink to

while that avoids the "agree to" language I thought I remembered
(and is hence much better), I thought we were also cautioned to
avoid links rather than display of the test because the latter
takes us a bit too close to "you agree to the terms inside when
you open the package" shrink-wrap licenses.   I understood that
to be the reason why registration procedures in the past
actually displayed the Note Well text before one could advance
to the page on which one put in, e.g., name and address
information.  But here we have a check box associated with the
above text at the bottom of the page that collects registration
information and just a link to the Note Well text.  

I don't know if it is new, but today's registration procedure
also says

	"A Datatracker login is required to access online
	sessions. Use an email associated with your Datatracker
	account to register. If you do not already have a
	Datatracker account one will be created for you using
	this email."

I don't see that as a major incremental privacy intrusion, but
it seems to take us another step away from any ideas about
anonymous observers or non-contributing Participants.