License File for Open Source Repositories

Many working groups work with open source repositories, even for their work on specifications.

There are areas where there’s some need to integrate the repository world and the IETF process. For instance, it is helpful to have a standard boilerplate for repositories with respect to the usual copyright and other matters. The intent is for such text to be placed in a suitable file (e.g., “LICENSE” or "CONTRIBUTING”) either for the whole repository or for an affected directory under the repository. There’s likely some other similar information that is already present in these files in many repositories. The idea is that people should treat, e.g., text contributions to a draft-foo.xml in a repository much in the same way as they treat text contributions on the list, at least when it comes to copyright, IPR, and other similar issues.

On December 23, 2016, the IESG called for feedback on an early proposal for such standard boilerplate text. The IESG has now taken into account the feedback received, and makes the text at end of the this email as the currently official version.

People creating new repositories can take advantage of templates developed in the community, which among other things include the standard boilerplate language. One such template is here:

We also want to point out that the boilerplate text represents what one should minimally include, but in many cases there is a benefit to including pointers to working groups, drafts, and so on as well. Adding such text is obviously possible, at the discretion of the creators of the repository in question.

Official boilerplate text:

This repository relates to activities in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). All material in this repository is considered Contributions to the IETF Standards Process, as defined in the intellectual property policies of IETF currently designated as BCP 78 (, BCP 79 ( and the IETF Trust Legal Provisions (TLP) Relating to IETF Documents (

Any edit, commit, pull request, issue, comment or other change made to this repository constitutes Contributions to the IETF Standards Process (

You agree to comply with all applicable IETF policies and procedures, including, BCP 78, 79, the TLP, and the TLP rules regarding code components (e.g. being subject to a Simplified BSD License) in Contributions.