[rfc-i] Copyright and the Independent Stream

Joel M. Halpern jmh at joelhalpern.com
Mon Sep 14 15:58:16 PDT 2009

We (the RFC community) have published "No Derivative Works" RFCs before. 
  These have been used, for example, to publish standards from other 
bodies where they were making the material available to us, but we did 
not have the right to further evolve the standard.

Editorial processing (such as book editors and the ISE / RFC Production 
house perform) are not usually considered derivative works.  (I am sure 
someone can come up with a counter-example.)  In this case, the thesis 
is that the author, who has the rights, is requesting RFC Publication in 
the Independent Stream.  So we clearly have the right to perform that 
publication.  However, they are not allowing us to give anyone else 
rights to modify the document.


Fred Baker wrote:
> I have read your draft, and I have a question.
> I have in the past presumed that "no derivative works" implied that an  
> internet draft could not be published as an RFC, as an RFC is itself a  
> derivative work. A case in which I used that reasoning related to the  
> one draft in which I have ever used that status - one of the inputs to  
> the SAVI working group. I was asked to describe what Cisco did in a  
> particular case, and as the working group seemed very unwilling to  
> read Cisco's web page on the topic, I copied the Cisco web page text  
> into a no-d-r draft. My viewpoint was (and is) that even if the  
> working group wanted to standardize exactly what Cisco had done, it  
> should do so as "this is what the working group decided", not "fine,  
> do what Cisco does, everyone else is".
> What this draft suggests to me is that the RFC *should* be published,  
> and that somehow those rights or lack of them should be recorded in or  
> recorded regarding the RFC.
> Help me here? Do I misunderstand the meaning of "no derivative works"?
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