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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
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--