[Isis-wg] [db3546@att.com: FW: IESG Statement on Internet Draft Authorship]

Hannes Gredler <hannes@juniper.net> Fri, 12 June 2015 23:25 UTC

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Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2015 01:25:03 +0200
From: Hannes Gredler <hannes@juniper.net>
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Subject: [Isis-wg] [db3546@att.com: FW: IESG Statement on Internet Draft Authorship]
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-----Original Message-----
From: IETF-Announce [mailto:ietf-announce-bounces@ietf.org] On Behalf Of The IESG
Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2015 2:32 PM
To: IETF Announcement List
Subject: IESG Statement on Internet Draft Authorship

The IESG has received some reports of IETF participants having been 
listed as document authors on drafts without their consent ("surprised 
authorship"). In some cases, the surprised authors had never seen the 
draft that surprised them. It appears that some draft authors think that 
including other participants as authors is a way to show support for the 
concepts in the document and gain acceptance for those concepts. This 
may be thought of as especially useful if the additional authors are 
established IETF participants.

Adding names of IETF participants who did not actually work on a 
proposal might seem to be a low-risk way of demonstrating "support", but 
this is very clearly not an acceptable practice: no one should ever be 
added to the list of authors on a draft unless that person has consented 
to it and has contributed significantly to the development of the draft.

The practice of adding surprised authors is

  - not in line with the IETF culture, where it's the technical issues 
    that matter, not who the authors or supporters are;
  - unethical, as it is wrong to claim support from someone who has not 
    consented to it;
  - misleading in terms of support; and
  - problematic in terms of IPR disclosures (BCPs 78 and 79). 

To emphasize this last point, the person submitting an Internet-Draft is 
asserting that "This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance 
with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79". A submitter who has not 
discussed this with all the listed authors cannot make that claim, and 
this can cause procedural and legal problems later.

All authors need to be aware of the ​RFC Editor's statement on 
authorship [1], especially as it relates to responsibility for the 
document's contents. The IESG strongly recommends that all drafts have 
explicit permission from all authors to have their names listed before 
the draft is submitted.

If you feel that you are impacted by the above issues, please talk to 
your Area Director or contact the IESG by ​sending email to 
<iesg@ietf.org>rg>. As the administrator of the I-D repository (regardless 
of the source or intended stream for the draft), the IESG will handle 
each case of disputed authorship on a case-by-base basis. All reports 
will be investigated, and substantiated claims will be met with 
corrective actions.

The default corrective action will be the replacement of the offending 
draft with a "disputed authorship" tombstone. Such a tombstone would:

  - Be published as a successor to the offending draft,
  - Have the offended IETF participant listed as the only author,
  - Will state "The author listed on this tombstone Internet-Draft has 
    stated that he/she should not have been listed as an author on the 
    previous version. The IETF considers being added as an author 
    without one's permission as unethical. The default behaviour of the 
    IESG in such cases is to approve replacement of the offending draft 
    with this tombstone. Please direct any queries to the author listed 
    here." 

[1] http://www.rfc-editor.org/pipermail/rfc-interest/2015-May/008869.html

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