Re: Proposed New Note Well

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Tue, 22 March 2016 00:53 UTC

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Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 20:53:24 -0400
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: ietf@ietf.org
Subject: Re: Proposed New Note Well
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Hi.  This version seems innocuous, however, the two
clarification suggestions below might be significant.

--On Monday, March 21, 2016 09:51 -0700 IESG Secretary
<iesg-secretary@ietf.org> wrote:

> Previously, the IESG and IAOC legal team asked the IETF
> community for  feedback [1] regarding new Note Well text.
> Based on the feedback  received, the proposed Note Well text
> has been revised.
>...
> The IESG will make a decision about this matter shortly.
> Please provide  comments, if any, to ietf@ietf.org or to the
> IESG at iesg@ietf.org  before April 8, 2016.
>...


> Note Well
> 
> This is a reminder of IETF policies in effect on various
> topics such as  patents or code of conduct. It is only meant
> to point you in the right  direction. Exceptions may apply.

Exceptions to what?  The direction in which the Note Well
points?  (Probably not).   The list of BCPs at the bottom?  (Few
of them allow for exceptions even when they allow for
case-by-case handling).  

I think you either need to drop that sentence as confusing or to
replace it by something that explains what the relevant
exceptions are about and how they happen or are requested and
processed.  Or you could just reiterate in some way that anyone
who treats a narrow reading of the "Note Well" text as
definitive is likely to find themselves in trouble.

>...
> Definitive information is in the documents listed below and
> other IETF  BCPs. For advice, please talk to WG chairs or ADs:

That replaces text that traditional says, more or less, "talk
with your own lawyer".  Is the expectation now that the WG
Chairs or ADs are to give out corresponding (and binding) legal
advice?

     john