Legal Provisions Relating to IETF Documents

Effective Date: September 12, 2009

1.         Background

            The IETF Trust was formed on December 15, 2005, for, among other things, the purpose of acquiring, holding, maintaining and licensing certain existing and future intellectual property used in connection with the Internet standards process and its administration, for the advancement of science and technology associated with the Internet and related technology.  Accordingly, pursuant to RFC 5378, Contributors to the IETF Standards Process grant the IETF Trust certain licenses with respect to their IETF Contributions.   In RFC 5377, the IETF Community has provided the IETF Trust with guidance regarding licenses that the IETF Trust should grant to others with respect to such IETF Contributions and IETF Documents.  These Legal Provisions describe the rights and licenses that the IETF Trust grants to others with respect to such IETF Contributions and IETF Documents; as well as certain restrictions, limitations and notices relating to IETF Documents.  Capitalized terms used in these Legal Provisions that are not otherwise defined have the meanings set forth in RFC 5378.

2.         Applicability of these Legal Provisions. 

            a.         These Legal Provisions are effective as of September 12, 2009 (the "Effective Date").

            b.         The licenses granted by the IETF Trust pursuant to these Legal Provisions apply only with respect to (i) IETF Contributions (including Internet-Drafts) that are submitted to the IETF following the Effective Date, and (ii) IETF RFCs and other IETF Documents that are published after the Effective Date. 

            c.         IETF Contributions made, and IETF Documents published, prior to the Effective Date ("Pre-Existing IETF Documents") remain subject to the licensing provisions of the IETF copyright policy document in effect at the time of their publication, including RFCs 1310, 1602, 2026, 3978 and 4748 and previous versions of these Legal Provisions. 

            d.         In most cases, rights to Pre-Existing IETF Documents that are not expressly granted under these RFCs can only be obtained by requesting such rights directly from the document authors.  The IETF Trust and the Internet Society do not become involved in making such requests to document authors.

            e.         These Legal Provisions may be amended from time to time by the IETF Trust in a manner consistent with the guidance provided by the IETF community and its own operating procedures.  Any amendment to these Legal Provisions shall be posted for review at http://trustee.ietf.org/policyandprocedures.html and shall become effective on a date specified by the IETF Trust, but no earlier than thirty (30) days following its posting.  Such amendment shall apply with respect to all IETF Contributions made and IETF Documents published following the effective date of such amendment.  All prior versions of these Legal Provisions shall continue to be posted at http://trustee.ietf.org/policyandprocedures.html for reference with respect to IETF Contributions and IETF Documents as to which they may apply.

3.         Licenses to IETF Documents and IETF Contributions.

            a.         License For Use Within the IETF Standards Process.  The IETF Trust hereby grants to each participant in the IETF Standards Process, to the greatest extent that it is permitted to do so, a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide right and license under all copyrights and rights of authors granted to the IETF Trust:

                        i.          to copy, publish, display and distribute IETF Contributions and IETF Documents, in whole or in part, as part of the IETF Standards Process, and

                        ii.         to translate IETF Contributions and IETF Documents, in whole or part, into languages other than English as part of the IETF Standards Process, and

                        iii.        unless explicitly disallowed in the notices contained in an IETF Contribution or IETF Document (as specified in Section 6.c below), to modify or prepare derivative works of such IETF Contributions or IETF Documents, in whole or in part, as part of the IETF Standards Process.

            b.         IETF Standards Process.  The term IETF Standards Process has the meaning assigned to it in RFC 5378.  In addition, the IETF Trust interprets the IETF Standards Process to include the archiving of IETF Documents in perpetuity for reference in support of IETF activities and the implementation of IETF standards and specifications.

            c.         Licenses For Use Outside the IETF Standards Process.  In addition to the rights granted with respect to Code Components described in Section 4 below, the IETF Trust hereby grants to each person who wishes to exercise such rights, to the greatest extent that it is permitted to do so, a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide right and license under all copyrights and rights of authors:

                        i.          to copy, publish, display and distribute IETF Contributions and IETF Documents in full and without modification,

                        ii.         to translate IETF Contributions and IETF Documents into languages other than English, and to copy, publish, display and distribute such translated IETF Contributions and IETF Documents in full and without modification,

                        iii.        to copy, publish, display and distribute unmodified portions of IETF Contributions and IETF Documents and translations thereof, provided that:

                                    (x)        each such portion is clearly attributed to IETF and identifies the RFC or other IETF Document or IETF Contribution from which it is taken,

                                    (y)       all IETF legends, legal notices and indications of authorship contained in the original IETF RFC must also be included where any substantial portion of the text of an IETF RFC, and in any event where more than one-fifth of such text, is reproduced in a single document or series of related documents.

            d.         Licenses that are not Granted.  The following licenses are not granted pursuant to these Legal Provisions:

                        i.          any license to modify IETF Contributions or IETF Documents, or portions thereof (other than to make translations or to extract, use and modify Code Components as permitted under the licenses granted under Section 4 of these Legal Provisions) in any context outside the IETF Standards Process, or

                        ii.         any license to publish, display or distribute IETF Contributions or IETF Documents, or portions thereof, without the required legends and notices described in these Legal Provisions.

            e.         Requesting Additional Rights.  Anyone who wishes to request license rights from the IETF Trust in addition to those granted under these Legal Provisions may submit such request to trustees@ietf.org.  Such request will be considered by the IETF Trust, which will make a decision regarding the request in its sole discretion and inform the requester of its disposition.  In addition, individual Contributors may be contacted regarding licenses to their IETF Contributions.  The IETF Trust does not limit the ability of IETF Contributors to license their Contributions, so long as those licenses do not affect the rights granted to the IETF Trust under RFC 5378.

4.         License to Code Components

            a.         Definition.  IETF Contributions and IETF Documents often include components intended to be directly processed by a computer ("Code Components").  A list of common Code Components can be found at http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info/

            b.        Identification.  Text in IETF Contributions and IETF Documents of the types identified in Section 4.a above shall constitute "Code Components".  In addition, any text found between the markers <CODE BEGINS> and <CODE ENDS>, or otherwise clearly labeled as a Code Component, shall be considered a "Code Component".

            c.         License.   In addition to the licenses granted under Section 3, unless one of the legends contained in Section 6.c.i or 6.c.ii is included in an IETF Document containing Code Components, such Code Components are also licensed to each person who wishes to receive such a license on the terms of the "Simplified BSD License", as described below.  If a licensee elects to apply the BSD