Re: BCP97bis and "freely available"

Michael Richardson <> Mon, 18 October 2021 20:40 UTC

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From: Michael Richardson <>
To: ietf <>
Subject: Re: BCP97bis and "freely available"
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Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2021 16:40:01 -0400
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John C Klensin <> wrote:
    > 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.

If I could go to my local university library and access (and checkout: I have
a card) a copy of that SDO's work (as paper or CDrom), then it would be okay.
Many universities can not afford these subscriptions anymore.
Even the soft copy only ones.   But, not everyone has that kind of access.
(I was the only 15 year old in my school who had a library card at,
and I had to get a letter from my librarian)

Sometimes there are IP address limits, and if I can get on the network there,
then I can read them online.

    > 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.

(I did implement RFC822 when I was ~15 for the Amiga)

Michael Richardson <>   . o O ( IPv6 IøT consulting )
           Sandelman Software Works Inc, Ottawa and Worldwide