Intellectual Property Rights

Document Charter Intellectual Property Rights WG (ipr)
Title Intellectual Property Rights
Last updated 2008-11-11
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD Russ Housley
Charter Edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)


The IETF and the Internet have greatly benefited from the free
exchange of ideas and technology. For many years the IETF normal
behavior was to standardize only unencumbered technology.
While the "Tao" of the IETF is still strongly oriented toward
unencumbered technology, we can and do make use of technology that has
various encumbrances.
One of the goals of the IETF IPR policy has been to make it easier
for the IETF to make use of encumbered technology when it made
sense to do so.

This group has attempted to clarify and update that IPR policy,
resulting in RFC 3978, RFC 3979 and RFC 3905. The WG has also
discussed the possibility of changing the IETF's patent policy, but
did not detect a consensus for doing so.

At the time of this recharter (February 2006), there are two
remaining items of work for the WG:

- An issue with the production of derivative works has led to the
realization that RFC 2026 and RFC 3978 do not specify exactly the
same policy on this matter, and that neither policy, when read
literally, may be optimal for the IETF's purpose,
in accordance with its mission statement (RFC 3935), its policy
of retaining change control of its own documents, and its desire
for its documents to be openly available and useful.

- The creation of the IETF Trust for managing the IETF IPR has led
to the question of how the Trustees should evaluate the
benefit of the IETF community as a whole and if necessary the
consensus of the IETF on a given matter. Specifically the question
arises whether the previous discussions of the IPR WG have led to
experience that should be codified for the guidance of the Trustees.

The WG will produce 3 documents:

- An update to RFC 3978 (BCP) that attempts to specify a complete set
of rights with respect to derivative works granted to the IETF by
authors, as well as technical updates necessitated by the existence
of the Trust
- A document (info) giving advice to the IETF Trust on what rights in
IETF contributions it should attempt to grant to the public in order
to retain change control while allowing open access, resolving the
discrepancy between RFC 2026 and RFC 3978
- A document (info) giving other advice to the IETF Trust on IPR
handling, based on the IPR WG's experience of discussions in the area

The last document may include advice to the IETF Trust on
mechanisms for consulting with the community on IPR issues once the
IPR WG has closed, if consensus on such advice can be found.

The IPR WG may decide to drop the last document from its charter if
it decides that it has nothing to say.

All documents should have an IETF-wide Last Call before being approved.