Re: Last Call on draft-bradner-rfc3979bis-08.txt ("Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology")

Brian E Carpenter <> Mon, 04 April 2016 04:55 UTC

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Subject: Re: Last Call on draft-bradner-rfc3979bis-08.txt ("Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology")
To: Stephan Wenger <>, Alissa Cooper <>, Jari Arkko <>
References: <> <> <> <>
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2016 16:55:51 +1200
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On 04/04/2016 02:33, Stephan Wenger wrote:
> Hi,
> On 4/2/16, 21:59, "ietf on behalf of Brian E Carpenter" < on behalf of> wrote:
>> Alissa,
>> On 01/04/2016 11:38, Alissa Cooper wrote:
>> ...
>>> 1) I agree with other commenters' concerns about the definition of "participating" with respect to WG chairs and ADs. In particular in the context of section 6, this seems like it could limit the pool of people who can stand for AD roles, because you're not allowed to participate in cases where you won't be able to disclose, but you have no idea a priori what WGs will get chartered in your area and what work items they might take up.
>> I don't see what's new about this - it's always been an awkward point. I worked for
>> a major patent-generating company while I was in the IESG ten years ago, and I had
>> to pay attention to this. I'm not saying it isn't a problem, but I don't see that
>> tightening up the language really makes the problem any worse. (However, I still
>> don't see any need to state the obvious, i.e. that WG Chairs and ADs are
>> participants, unless they recuse themselves on a particular matter.)
> My feeling is that a WG chair absolutely should be in the loop of everything going on in its WG, and therefore should be viewed as “participating” with respect to any Contribution made to the WG or related to the WG.
> With respect to ADs, I find Brian’s argument generally compelling.  However, I don’t know how an AD can or should recuse himself/herself from a particular matter in the sense of shedding his/her possible obligations under BCP79.  AFAICT, historically, when an AD recuses himself/herself, it was often based on too much knowledge and interest in a certain technology, with respect to personnel behind the technology, and so on.  In such a case, a recuse from IPR obligations of any type would not be desirable.

Agreed, but an AD might have no choice but to abstain "for cause" if s/he is caught
between the IETF rules and an employer rule that patent applications are not published.
If we don't accept that reality, we would be reducing our volunteer pool even more.


> The more we relax the disclosure requirements, the more we enable gaming the policy by a “company man”--and that form of gaming
may not come up until years after the person has resigned from the AD position, rendering the IETF’s internal sanction mechanism
> Stephan
>>    Brian