[rfc-i] issue: canonical formats

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Sat Jun 2 00:41:23 PDT 2012

On 2012-06-01 17:33, Joe Hildebrand wrote:
> On 6/1/12 8:55 AM, "Paul Hoffman" <paul.hoffman at vpnc.org> wrote:
>> What the heck is a "legal use case"? Do you have any evidence of a law
>> anywhere that says "the canonical format for publishing must be displayable"?
>>From Heather's requirements list:
> "* to verify the final content of a document in cases of legal dispute"
> "While the canonical source format MUST be easily converted in to a variety
> of other formats, a single canonical display format must exist to satisfy
> the requirements of legal and content disputes"
> "Need one source and display format to be the authoritative version,
> suitable for legal records"
> I'm more worried about contracts than IPR.  The use case is that a contract
> specifies that software X complies with RFC Y.  How does an expert witness
> decide?

The contract needs to specify what it is referring to, e.g.
"RFC1305 refers to the graphical version to be found at the web link
http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1305.pdf (last accessed 2012-06-02)."

If it doesn't, the witness would have to say "I don't know which document
this contract refers to."

This is why a canonical presentation format is needed, for IPR *or*
contract disputes.


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