Re: IETF 107 Vancouver In-Person Meeting Cancelled

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Wed, 11 March 2020 22:48 UTC

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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2020 18:48:39 -0400
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Subject: Re: IETF 107 Vancouver In-Person Meeting Cancelled
To: Robert Raszuk <>
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On Wed, Mar 11, 2020 at 4:08 PM Robert Raszuk <> wrote:

> Thx Jay for clarification.
> Do we have a copy of IETF registration rules or URL to it ?
> Hi Philllip,
> Thank you for your opinion. First I am not sure if registering in IETF is
> really a contract in a legal sense. It is more like an event fee. But let's
> assume it is. So IETF is a US company and it chooses to have a conference
> in Mozambique.

There is an offer, an acceptance and a valuable consideration. That is a
contract under English common law. A contract is a contract even if there
is a clause in the contract stating it isn't. The only contract like thing
that is not a contract is a letter of credit.

> I am in EU registering for that conference on IETF web page. Which law is
> applicable ? US or EU or Mozambique ?

As I said, it is complicated. When we were putting VeriSign together, it
was a big question for us: how do you establish the legal basis for
international global commerce. That is what Michael Baum put together.

The best you can do is to put a 'governing law' clause into the contract.
But there is absolutely no guarantee that the courts will accept it as

> I asked above for the registration rules as it seems that if rules clearly
> state up front that any dispute would be handled according to US law -
> there is no case.

That would be your opinion.

Given that the non recoverable costs of extraditing a writ etc are going to
come into the tens of thousands of dollars, the chance that someone is
going to litigate this issue is really rather small.

In the context of GDPR however, the issues are very different and some
companies that thought they would be able to protect their position with
governing law clauses are likely to find themselves expensively disabused
of the notion.

It is genuinely complicated.