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

Brian E Carpenter <> Fri, 25 March 2016 19:40 UTC

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Subject: Re: Last Call on draft-bradner-rfc3979bis-08.txt ("Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology")
To: Russ Housley <>, Jari Arkko <>
References: <> <>
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
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Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2016 08:40:49 +1300
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Comment at the end:

On 26/03/2016 05:28, Russ Housley wrote:
> Jari:
> I looked at the diff between RFC 3979 and draft-bradner-rfc3979bis-08.txt.  The changes are substantial.  Over the last few years there have been sessions at IETF meetings about the things that needed to be clarified, but my interpretation of those discussions was that we had most things right and a few things needed to be clarified.  So the extent of the proposed changes is a bit of a surprise to me.  I do not find Section 13 helpful is explaining the changes that were made, or the rationale for them.
> The definition of Contribution now includes:
>       o any IETF-sanctioned design team or portion thereof,
> I really have a problem with the use of "IETF-sanctioned” in this bullet.  RFC 2418 talks about design teams.  It says:
> 6.5. Design teams
>    It is often useful, and perhaps inevitable, for a sub-group of a
>    working group to develop a proposal to solve a particular problem.
>    Such a sub-group is called a design team.  In order for a design team
>    to remain small and agile, it is acceptable to have closed membership
>    and private meetings.  Design teams may range from an informal chat
>    between people in a hallway to a formal set of expert volunteers that
>    the WG chair or AD appoints to attack a controversial problem.  The
>    output of a design team is always subject to approval, rejection or
>    modification by the WG as a whole.
> It seems to me that the design team, whether established by the leadership or self organized, intends to influence the IETF document.  For this reason, I think that any design team participation must be considered a contribution.

It's clear that any design team *output* is a contribution. But if a group
of friends have a chat over lunch, not as a design team mandated by WG chairs,
and one of them mentions a silly idea that is rejected in favour of a good
idea that the group later proposes to the WG, is that silly idea a contribution?
I don't think so.

All the same, I think the phrase "IETF-sanctioned" is redundant. A citation
of RFC 2418 would be in order, perhaps.