[rfc-i] issue: canonical formats
hallam at gmail.com
Sat Jun 2 08:20:47 PDT 2012
My view is that at present the lawyers would almost certainly turn the RFC
into PDF for the purposes of distribution.
That is what they do with everything - HTML, email, etc. If it isn't in pdf
they turn it into pdf.
We already have tools that turn html into pdf so what I see here is a
'requirement' to produce a PDF/A output document.
I don't think we need to dance around declaring that to be the canonical
form but if you like, well yeah, call the PDF/A version the canonical
On Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 1:12 PM, John Levine <johnl at taugh.com> wrote:
> >"While the canonical source format MUST be easily converted in to a
> >of other formats, a single canonical display format must exist to satisfy
> >the requirements of legal and content disputes"
> I see that, but based on my experience in court, I think it's wrong.
> The IETF needs to be able to hand a document to a court and say this
> is RFC 9999, but the IETF is also allowed to use a small amount of
> intelligence and send an appropriate version. In the current model,
> is the canonical version the file of ASCII characters and formatting
> codes? Is a printout of that file canonical? If an attorney makes a
> PDF, by using enscript, by printing one of the web page versions of
> RFCs, or by scanning a printout, and then uploads the PDF to the PACER
> court document system, which I can assure you is what would happen to
> any RFC used in federal court, is that canonical?
> The answer is that so long as they all say the same thing, it doesn't
> matter. Ditto if one version happens to be fixed pitch ASCII and
> another one a PDF made from proportionally spaced HTML.
> >I'm more worried about contracts than IPR. The use case is that a
> >specifies that software X complies with RFC Y. How does an expert witness
> She looks at the document, and if there is doubt about its accuracy,
> at the XML or whatever authoritative version. Having done rather a
> lot of expert witnessing, I can report that this sort of thing simply
> is not a problem. Courts are not stupid, and sorting out variant
> versions of documents has been a well understood problem for
> centuries. It used to be a lot harder, when copies were made by hand.
> rfc-interest mailing list
> rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org
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