[rfc-i] RFC citations committee I-D issued

Joe Touch touch at isi.edu
Sat Feb 12 16:36:16 PST 2011

On 2/12/2011 12:14 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> On 2011-02-12 16:23, Joe Touch wrote:
>> And perhaps those who do have a limited understanding of copyright law.
> We all do, and afaik the IETF Trust's counsel is not on this
> list to set us right.

Well, they're not on this list to express their interpretation. "Right" 
is determined elsewhere, e.g., in a court.

> Even this amateur lawyer knows that is wrong. All versions of
> the IETF copyright provisions have effectively given the IETF
> a perpetual license to use the content of contributions, including
> I-Ds, although the exact conditions have been adjusted from time
> to time. Use outside the IETF is a different matter, but citation
> is always allowed.

Citation is not the issue. Access to the content is. The question here 
is whether the term "expires" has any real meaning, as used in I-Ds. 
That is for a court to decide, ultimately.

AFAICT, the key here is that:

a) I-Ds include many past variants, and it's not useful to make 
assertions about the entire set as far as their perpetual public access 
is concerned

b) there is certainly desire that, going into the future, pre-RFC docs 
are perpetually publicly accessible

c) I-Ds are thus not a useful solution to (b) because of (a)

IMO, this argues for a new series - I've called that "Internet Tech 
Reports" (ITRs) - that is, upon submission, known NOT to "expire".

I.e., if this is the community's desire, fine - but it is more useful to 
declare that property for a new series than to fool ourselves into 
believing that the current series already has the desired properties.


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