Re: BCP97bis and "freely available"

"Scott O. Bradner" <sob@sobco.com> Mon, 18 October 2021 20:43 UTC

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Subject: Re: BCP97bis and "freely available"
From: "Scott O. Bradner" <sob@sobco.com>
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Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2021 16:42:50 -0400
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that is what I remember as well (“freely” != “free”)

Scott

> On Oct 18, 2021, at 4:04 PM, Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> I think the original concern was indeed standards that (for 
> proprietary or other reasons) were actually kept secret.
> So "freely" didn't imply "free of charge"; it meant available
> to the general public. In that sense it's closely related
> to "open standards". Those are standards that are open to
> the general public. I think that's what we insist on, and
> "free of charge" is desirable, but not essential.
> 
> "Open standards that are openly developed" means standards
> whose development process is open to the general public.
> We don't insist on that for external references.
> 
> Regards
>   Brian Carpenter
> 
> On 19-Oct-21 02:33, John C Klensin wrote:
>> Hi.
>> 
>> In looking through the new -01 draft (even though this text has
>> not changed) I noticed something that I sort of hinted at
>> yesterday in responding to other comments.
>> 
>> You need to define "freely available" and do so precisely.  
>> 
>> We have historically considered printed books and articles in
>> established journals to be suitable for normative references
>> from the RFC Series ("down" really has nothing to do with that
>> criterion) even if buying the book or obtaining the journal was
>> expensive.  In theory, there was always a trip to the library.
>> Some of the standards from other SDOs have the same property:
>> they are often very expensive unless one's organization is a
>> member that gets them for free, but many libraries and other
>> repositories do have them available.
>> 
>> Of course, some of us have access to better technical libraries
>> than others. That is an economic and cultural problem I don't
>> know how to fix, but I'm fairly sure that pushing in the
>> direction of "must be available online, with no restrictions and
>> no cost" would be quite self-destructive for the IETF.
>> 
>> "Freely available" does not necessarily imply "free" (zero cost).
>> 
>> By contrast, one can imagine a reference to a restricted
>> corporate document, some types of prepublication drafts, and, if
>> the world continues to fragment, even the detailed description
>> of how some equipment operates.  In those cases, the document
>> may just not be "available" to many IETF participants even
>> though, if someone were allowed to access it, it would be at no
>> cost.
>> 
>> So the I-D should be very clear about what it is talking about.
>> Then, if needed, we can have a better discussion about the
>> requirements.
>> 
>> best,
>>    john
>> 
>> 
>> 
>