Re: Registration details for IETF 108

Eric Rescorla <> Sun, 31 May 2020 21:14 UTC

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From: Eric Rescorla <>
Date: Sun, 31 May 2020 14:13:55 -0700
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Subject: Re: Registration details for IETF 108
To: S Moonesamy <>
Cc: IETF discussion list <>
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On Sun, May 31, 2020 at 1:56 PM S Moonesamy <> wrote:

> Dear Internet Engineering Steering Group,
> [Reply-To override]
> At 06:12 PM 27-05-2020, IETF Executive Director wrote:
> >This meeting will have a substantial agenda but as the cost of an
> >online meeting is lower, the registration fees have been set at
> >approximately one-third of those for an in-person meeting.  A
> >detailed explanation of why we charge a fee for meetings and how the
> >fee reduction was set for IETF 108 is provided in a separate blog post
> [3].
> In 2013, the IETF Chair affirmed that the Internet Engineering Task
> Force embraced the modern paradigm for standards.  One of the points
> in the document is the standards process being open to all interested
> and informed parties.  If I recall correctly, I raised a point a few
> months before 2013 about the IETF allowing free access to its
> meetings through the Internet.  I could not help noticing that there
> is now a required fee to access the next IETF meeting.  Was that
> approved by the IESG?
> I took a look at the meeting policy for the IETF.  I never understood
> why that policy is described as an ambition.  Anyway, as that policy
> does not specify anything about changing the existing practice for
> fees, it is unlikely that the decision to charge for online meetings
> can be challenged.
> I would like to thank the IETF LLC Directors for acknowledging that
> the fee presents a barrier to participation and their charitable
> offer.  I'll leave the charitable offer to those who are in need.
> It took a decade for the IETF to take this pay-to-play decision.  Was
> there any discussion about it?

I don't think the characterization of this as "pay-to-play" is accurate. You
are certainly free to participate in mailing lists, github, etc.

What is being charged here is a fee to participate [0] in real-time virtual
meetings, just as there is one charged for attending in-person meetings.


[0] I emphasize "real-time" as I expect that the recordings will be
after the fact as usual.