Request for comments on proposed changes to the IETF Trust Legal Provisions (January 23, 2009)

ANNOUNCEMENT: The IETF Trustees invite your comments on revised proposed legend text to work-around the Pre-5378 Problem

This message is in follow-up to the IETF Trustees' request for community review (announced on January 6, 2009) on some new legend text intended to help authors work around the "pre-5378 problem".

Please recall that some I-D authors have experienced difficulty implementing RFC5378 since it was published on November 10, 2008. An example of the difficulty is summarized below:

  • an author wants to include pre-5378 content in a new submission or contribution to the IETF, but
  • the author is not able to assert that every author of the pre-5378 content has agreed (or would agree) to license the earlier material for use outside of the IETF Standards Process

As a result of the above situation, many authors have reported they can not submit or progress new contributions, because the legend text authorized by the Trustees in November 2008 had no provisions for dealing with this "pre-5378" problem.

The Trustees met with legal counsel on January 22nd to discuss the comments and suggestions which you have provided since January 6th. We have received many excellent suggestions for ways to clarify and improve the draft legend text, and we are grateful for this.

Based on the feedback received to date, the Trustees are now proposing a few changes to the draft legend text.

The 'old' legend text (as posted for community review on 2009-01-06) was:

6. Text To Be Included in IETF Documents
c. Derivative Works and Publication Limitations
iii. If a Contribution includes Pre-5378 Material and the Contributor does not wish to allow modifications of such Pre-5378
Material to be made outside the IETF Standards Process:

This document contains material from IETF Documents or IETF Contributions published before November 10, 2008 and, to the Contributor's knowledge, the person(s) controlling the copyright in such material have not granted the IETF Trust the right to allow modifications of such material outside the IETF Standards Process. Without obtaining an adequate license from the person(s) controlling the copyright, this document may not be modified outside the IETF Standards Process, and derivative works of it may not be created outside the IETF Standards Process, except to format it for publication as an RFC and to translate it into languages other than English.

The updated proposed legend text based on the discussion to date is as follows:

This document may contain material from IETF Documents or IETF Contributions published or made publicly available before November 10, 2008. The person(s) controlling the copyright in some of this material may not have granted the IETF Trust the right to allow modifications of such material outside the IETF Standards Process. Without obtaining an adequate license from the person(s) controlling the copyright in such materials, this document may not be modified outside the IETF Standards Process, and derivative works of it may not be created outside the IETF Standards Process, except to format it for publication as an RFC and to translate it into languages other than English.

The Trustees invite your comments on the updated proposed legend text. We believe the updated text incorporates the feedback we have received to date, and we hope it clarifies the proposed legend.

The Trustees will meet again in early February to decide on whether to revise the Trust License Policy based on the ongoing community discussion. If so decided, a revision to the Trust's "Legal Provisions Relating to IETF Documents" policy will be published. Please refer to the attached PDF file for an example of how the Legal Provisions document might look if today's update to proposed legend text is adopted. A softcopy is available on the IETF Trust website under the heading "DRAFT Policy and Procedures Being Developed" at: http://trustee.ietf.org/policies-and-procedures.html

If you have any comments on the updated proposed legend text, please post them before the end of February 7th. The Trustees need to decide on whether to adopt the proposed legend text, and then communicate our decision to you on or before February 15th.

Please give this your attention.

Regards,

Ed Juskevicius, on behalf of the IETF Trustees