Re: Change in IPR policies

Brian E Carpenter <> Tue, 09 June 2020 20:23 UTC

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Subject: Re: Change in IPR policies
To: John C Klensin <>,
References: <96A3BDFE6F7DC38D2366581F@PSB>
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2020 08:23:42 +1200
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You are right about the Note Well; it was drafted with legal advice, but that advice made it clear that it is no substitute for the cited BCPs, but merely a reminder to all participants that the BCPs apply to them personally. The text of the Note Well says exactly that. So people need to acknowledge that they've read it, not that they will obey it.

> (2) There is a very specific and, as far as I know, completely
> new, prohibition against distribution or broadcasting of any
> meeting-related discussion or events. 

That is one I would certainly object too, if you are quoting it accurately. (I won't be signing up for IETF 108 anyway, since the times of day are out of the question for me.)

But this gets back to my unanswered question of principle: will the new model be pay-to-listen, or pay-to-speak? Since open access is a fundamental principle of the IETF, I simply don't see how we could adopt a pay-to-listen policy, and therefore we cannot restrict distribution of IETF materials in any format. AV material is no different from text in that respect. The IETF as a whole needs to weigh in on this point, of course.

In any case, copyright in IETF materials belongs either to the creators of the material, or to the IETF Trust, so any such restriction can only be announced by the Trust, and I haven't seen such an announcement. Therefore the "prohibition" you mention is clearly null and void and everybody can simply ignore it.

   Brian Carpenter

On 10-Jun-20 07:50, John C Klensin wrote:
> Hi.
> I was just reminded that, when I registered for IETF 108, I
> noticed that I was asked to agree to two things that seemed new.
> The first is probably unimportant but IANAL and it is still a
> change.  The second seems problematic.
> (1) If I recall (I was tired and might easily have been
> confused), the language about the Note Well statement has
> changed to require agreement to the statement itself, not just
> that it was read and understood.  If so, I hope the new language
> was cleared with counsel because I believe we were warned in the
> past that we should treat that statement simply as a collection
> of pointers, not an authority in itself.  That is the reason
> why, e.g., we reference specific RFCs or BCPs in I-Ds and RFC
> boilerplate rather than pointing to the Note Well.
> (2) There is a very specific and, as far as I know, completely
> new, prohibition against distribution or broadcasting of any
> meeting-related discussion or events.  That seems like a giant
> step away from the IETF's tradition of openness and free
> availability of materials.  It also may run counter to existing
> principles and rules, including the provisions about reuse of
> Contributions for IETF purposes that appear in BCP 78.  In
> addition to the general principle that we do not try to restrict
> access to, reuse of, or reproduction of, our materials (as long
> as they are reproduced intact), there are at least two
> interesting operational edge-case questions about what the
> requirement means.   As examples,
>  (1) Suppose that, as part of a presentation, I read sections of
> an Internet-Draft that I wrote.  Now, normally, the content of
> an I-D is a Contribution to the IETF but one for which the
> author(s) etain full rights to reuse the content for other
> purposes.  By reading those sections aloud, do I forfeit the
> right to distribute and broadcast them?
>  (2) Perhaps I read from a published RFC, for example RFCs 2026
> or 5378. Does that make it a requirement that whomever hears me
> read it must then ask the IETF's permission before quoting from
> it in a way that would constitute "distribution".
> (3) Suppose I record a session for my personal use and then
> discover what appears to be a discrepancy between what was said
> at the meeting.  Am I allowed to quote from my recording on the
> relevant mailing list to dispute the account in the minutes?
> Or, if there is a later decision made based in part of what was
> said at the meeting, am I allowed to include part of that
> recording in an appeal?
> Those examples are (I hope) silly individually, but they are
> consistent with the "no distribution or broadcasting" provision.
> As important and in the context of other recent discussions, who
> approved that restriction?  Were the Trustees of the IETF Trust
> and their legal advisors involved and, if not, why not?  If they
> were, should we expect a discussion in their April or May 2020
> minutes (which are now significantly late)?
> And, because it appears to be a very significant change from
> IETF principles and history, when was the community consulted
> about this and where is its consensus documented?    I hope no
> one is going to claim that it was necessary on an emergency
> basis to protect the revenue stream from registrations because
> that claim could have been made at any time in the past (and I
> can't be the only one who has recorded all or part of IETF
> meeting WG or Plenary sessions and then shared them).
> best,
>    john