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[ih] Who owns old RFCs ?

I do like Vint's idea of an IETF trademark.? Other standards groups 
require that those who wish to place their mark on products conform to a 
list of specified requirements.

(For example, we have all seen the USB trademark on a myrid of cables 
and devices.? The trademark owner of the USB mark imposes all kinds of 
conditions, such as the colors of the connectors, which side is "up", 
and conformance to the technical requirements.)

So, if there were an IETF trademark logo - something that a lot of 
makers would like to show on their products - it could come with 
obligations regarding adherence to RFCs and other such stuff.? (It could 
also become a nice revenue stream for the IETF.)? Setting this up could 
be a long, hard, and probably expensive project requiring a permanent 
administrative staff.

But that's a long, long way from protecting the integrity of the RFC's 
themselves.? But it sure would be fun to have a contest to come up with 
an "IETF Approved" kind of trademark/logo.

In this era of "fake news" (and self-signed TLS certificates and 
tampered pseudo-random number generators) there may be people who want 
to be assured that they have a correct copy of an RFC or Internet standard.

John Levine did mention that a lot of stuff may have already slipped 
into the public domain - at least in the US.? That's quite true. (But we 
always need to remember that the US is just one of nearly 200 countries 
- so it's an open question elsewhere).

The US law has been changing and shifting and jiggling a lot over recent 
years and some stuff that was once outside US copyright protection (e.g. 
had fallen into public domain) has been recaptured back into copyright.? 
I am far from knowledgeable about that morass and do not know whether it 
might apply to RFC texts. (In the music area over the last coupe of 
years there was a herd of decisions about the copyright status of the 
old Turtle's tune "Happy Together" - that wasn't exactly a public domain 
case, but it suggests that things can slide around in very non-obvious 

This stuff is enough to make one's hair (and, if present, beard) turn grey.

 ??? ??? --karl--