Re: bettering open source involvement

Stephen Farrell <> Tue, 02 August 2016 08:56 UTC

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Subject: Re: bettering open source involvement
To: "Eggert, Lars" <>, Dave Taht <>
References: <> <> <> <> <> <>
From: Stephen Farrell <>
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Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2016 09:56:10 +0100
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Hi Lars,

While I agree that GPL clearly has issues for some IETF participants,
I think you overlstated a bit in one place...

On 02/08/16 09:12, Eggert, Lars wrote:
> Code is a nice addition, but really  only useful if it can be rather
> freely used - which GPL code can't.

GPL code can indeed be useful, even if it is problematic for some IETF
participants. For example, I put out some GPL'd code for a spec I was
developing. Much time passed (the RFC issued) but someone did pick up
on my code and improved upon it (hey, it was my code, so they probably
couldn't help but improve it:-). While working on the I-D the GPL code
was useful to me as an author, and I think also to folks for whom taking
a look at GPL'd code is not a problem, which was a non-zero set of
folks involved in the WG.

So yes, BSD is better in the IETF context, but GPL, while problematic
for some, is far from useless.

I would be supportive of efforts for us to try to ack other OSS licences
in IETF processes if we can figure a way to usefully do that. It may be
that code snippets in RFCs still need to be BSD, but that doesn't mean
we can't be happy to leverage code with any recognised OSS license.