[Cerowrt-devel] Fwd: License File for Open Source Repositories

Marc Petit-Huguenin marc at petit-huguenin.org
Fri Dec 23 15:35:40 EST 2016

On 12/23/2016 12:17 PM, Dave Taht wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 11:44 AM,  <dpreed at reed.com> wrote:
>> My understanding is that it is already settled case law that contributed code to a GPL licensed projects implicitly grants a perpetual, royalty free license to use any applicable patent the author uses in the code.
> According to this it is not settled case law in the UK. Apache, on the
> other hand...
> http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Patent_clauses_in_software_licences#Apache_License_2.0
>> Of course there is no case law regarding patent s in other licenses, in particular MIT and BSD, which have no strong copyleft provisions.
> Yes, I think *mandating* that ietf contributions be under a weak,
> unsettled license is fraught with problems.

The code inside an RFC is always under a Simplified BSD License, but that is not what the License described below is about.  It is about the text of the RFC itself, which is under a far more restrictive license (which is why Debian, among others, cannot redistribute RFCs) on the copyright side, and that require mandatory disclosure on the patent side.

>> This issue of submarine patent traps is important in communications protocol invention. Protocol patents are far worse than software patents... IMO, communications protocols should never be property. IESG is struggling to create a middle ground, where there should be no middle, IMO.

Aren't communication protocols mathematics, e.g. propositions in linear logic, and so unpatentable?

> Tend to agree.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: "Marc Petit-Huguenin" <marc at petit-huguenin.org>
>> Sent: Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 2:23 pm
>> To: "Dave Taht" <dave.taht at gmail.com>, "cerowrt-devel at lists.bufferbloat.net" <cerowrt-devel at lists.bufferbloat.net>
>> Cc: "Dave Taht" <dave.taht at gmail.com>, "cerowrt-devel at lists.bufferbloat.net" <cerowrt-devel at lists.bufferbloat.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Cerowrt-devel] Fwd: License File for Open Source Repositories
>> On 12/23/2016 08:05 AM, Dave Taht wrote:
>>> I have no idea what they are trying to do.
>> This is to prevent people to propose text to be included in a specification without disclosing that this may be relevant to a patent or patent application they own or know about.  As soon you make a contribution, you are supposed to disclose such IPR in the IETF database.  This text makes it explicit that anything done in such repository is covered by the same requirements.
>> An alternative would have been a variant of the Signed-off-by header, but as the repository does not extend to the RFC-editor or the IETF Trust, that's, the best that can be done for now.
>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>> From: IESG Secretary
>>> Date: Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 7:36 AM
>>> Subject: License File for Open Source Repositories
>>> To: IETF Announcement List
>>> Cc: iesg at ietf.org, ietf at ietf.org
>>> The IESG has observed that many working groups work with open source
>>> repositories even for their work on specifications. That's great, and
>>> we're happy to see this development, as it fits well the working style
>>> of at least some of our working groups. This style is also likely to be
>>> more popular in the future.
>>> As always, we'd like to understand areas where we can either be helpful
>>> in bringing in some new things such as tooling, or where we need to
>>> integrate better between the repository world and the IETF process. As
>>> an example of the latter, we're wondering whether it would be helpful to
>>> have a standard boilerplate for these 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., "CONTRIBUTING"), probably along with
>>> some additional 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.
>>> We have worked together with the IETF legal team and few key experts
>>> from the IETF who are actively using these repositories, and suggest the
>>> following text.
>>> We're looking to make a decision on this matter on our January 19th,
>>> 2017 IESG Telechat, and would appreciate feedback before then. This
>>> message will be resent after the holiday period is over to make sure it
>>> is noticed. Please send comments to the IESG (iesg at ietf.org) by 2017-01-17.
>>> The IESG
>>> ——
>>> 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
>>> (https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/bcp78), BCP 79
>>> (https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/bcp79) and the IETF Trust Legal
>>> Provisions (TLP) Relating to IETF Documents
>>> (http://trustee.ietf.org/trust-legal-provisions.html).
>>> Any edit, commit, pull-request, 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.

Marc Petit-Huguenin
Email: marc at petit-huguenin.org
Blog: https://marc.petit-huguenin.org
Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petithug

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