Re: How IETF treats contributors

Marc Blanchet <> Mon, 30 August 2004 21:09 UTC

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Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 10:06:28 -0400
From: Marc Blanchet <>
To: Hadmut Danisch <>,
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welcome to ietf. :-((( It happens to me also and I know others who had the
same issue. It was raised before.


-- Monday, August 30, 2004 11:06:28 +0200 Hadmut Danisch
<> wrote/a ecrit:

> Hi.
> If I understood the IETF correctly, it is an organization based 
> on the work of volunteers and their contributions. Correct me, if 
> I'm wrong.
> I'd like to question the way IETF treats it's contributors.
> Some time ago I've written a proposal about how to prevent 
> forged e-mails in order to fight spam and published it as an 
> I-D (RMX). This was also the first posting ever to the IRTF's 
> ASRG mailing list and subject of discussion for months. 
> Within this discussion another proposal (SPF) was raised, 
> explicitely introduced as based on RMX and intended to cover it. 
> Some time later, Microsoft published it's CallerID proposal, again 
> influenced by RMX. 
> The IETF founded the MARID working group which solely focussed on 
> those mailer authorization records in DNS (MARID is exactly that
> acronym). 
> MARID produced a new proposal called SenderID, which was introduced
> as a melt of SPF and CallerID. Actually, some properties
> characteristic for CallerID and newer versions of SPF have been
> omitted, thus the SenderID core draft does not significantly
> differ from RMX and the results of discussions about RMX. SenderID 
> is mostly taken from RMX.
> Is that bad? No. Contributing to IETF means feeding for derivative
> work. Developing network protocols means necessarily cooperation and 
> evolution, and that's impossible without derivative work. After all,
> why should someone submit an I-D, if not to get other people's
> comments and to invite other's for derivative work. If someone
> derivates his work from your's, then this is a validation that your 
> work was usable and interesting, and that someone actually read your 
> paper. So there's nothing wrong about derivative work per se, and
> that's an essential part of the way, the IETF works (at least in my
> eyes, correct me if I'm wrong).
> But in my opinion, the least a contributor can expect is that
> derivative work based on his contribution does acknowledge and cite 
> the contribution correctly and does not pass the contribution as
> someone else's work. Correct me if I'm wrong.
> The SenderID core draft does not cite RMX adequatly.
> I have asked the MARID and ASRG chairs that RMX is cited correctly 
> when turning the SenderID draft into an RFC. They denied. It's a
> commercial Microsoft and Pobox show.
> While on one hand the chairs do more or less acknowledge or at least
> not deny, that SenderID is based on and close to RMX, they do on the
> other hand refuse to cite RMX properly. As a reason they give, that
> IETF is under US law, and under US law the copyright protects only
> against literal plagiarisms, i.e. cut-and-paste, but not against
> paraphrased derivatives. Since I had therefore no legal copyright
> claims against SenderID, I will not be cited, as I was told.
> I am not that experienced with US laws yet, but I can hardly imagine
> that this is correct. If this was correct, I could easily republish any
> book under my name just by paraphrasing it's contents. I bet I'd be in
> trouble if I tried to do so. 
> But forget legal issues for a moment, these are to be discussed
> elsewhere. I'd like to ask you for your personal opinion, not your 
> legal knowledge or appraisal:
> Is that the way IETF treats it's contributors? 
> Is that considered as fair and honest?
> regards
> Hadmut Danisch
> _______________________________________________
> Ietf mailing list

Marc Blanchet
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