Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) T. Hansen, Ed.
Request for Comments: 8098 AT&T Laboratories
STD: 85 A. Melnikov, Ed.
Obsoletes: 3798 Isode Ltd
Updates: 2046, 3461 February 2017
Category: Standards Track
Message Disposition Notification
This memo defines a MIME content type that may be used by a Mail User
Agent (MUA) or electronic mail gateway to report the disposition of a
message after it has been successfully delivered to a recipient.
This content type is intended to be machine processable. Additional
message header fields are also defined to permit Message Disposition
Notifications (MDNs) to be requested by the sender of a message. The
purpose is to extend Internet Mail to support functionality often
found in other messaging systems, such as X.400 and the proprietary
"LAN-based" systems, and are often referred to as "read receipts,"
"acknowledgements," or "receipt notifications." The intention is to
do this while respecting privacy concerns, which have often been
expressed when such functions have been discussed in the past.
Because many messages are sent between the Internet and other
messaging systems (such as X.400 or the proprietary "LAN-based"
systems), the MDN protocol is designed to be useful in a
multiprotocol messaging environment. To this end, the protocol
described in this memo provides for the carriage of "foreign"
addresses, in addition to those normally used in Internet Mail.
Additional attributes may also be defined to support "tunneling" of
foreign notifications through Internet Mail.
This document is an Internet Standard. It obsoletes RFC 3798 and
updates RFC 2046 (message/partial media type handling) and RFC 3461
(Original-Recipient header field generation requirement).
Status of This Memo
This is an Internet Standards Track document.
This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has
received public review and has been approved for publication by the
Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Further information on
Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
Copyright (c) 2017 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
document authors. All rights reserved.
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the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
described in the Simplified BSD License.
This memo defines a media type [RFC2046] for Message Disposition
Notifications (MDNs). An MDN can be used to notify the sender of a
message of any of several conditions that may occur after successful
delivery, such as display of the message contents, printing of the
message, deletion (without display) of the message, or the
recipient's refusal to provide MDNs. The "message/disposition-
notification" content type defined herein is intended for use within
the framework of the "multipart/report" content type defined in
This memo defines the format of the notifications and the RFC-MSGFMT
[RFC5322] header fields used to request them.
The MDNs defined in this memo are expected to serve several purposes:
a. Inform human beings of the disposition of messages after
successful delivery in a manner that is largely independent of
b. Allow mail user agents to keep track of the disposition of
messages sent by associating returned MDNs with earlier message
c. Convey disposition notification requests and disposition
notifications between Internet Mail and "foreign" mail systems
via a gateway;
d. Allow "foreign" notifications to be tunneled through a MIME-
capable messaging system and back into the original messaging
system that issued the original notification, or even to a third
e. Allow language-independent, yet reasonably precise, indications
of the disposition of a message to be delivered.
These purposes place the following constraints on the notification
a. It must be readable by humans and must be machine parsable.
b. It must provide enough information to allow message senders (or
their user agents) to unambiguously associate an MDN with the
message that was sent and the original recipient address for
which the MDN was issued (if such information is available), even
if the message was forwarded to another recipient address.
c. It must also be able to describe the disposition of a message
independent of any particular human language or of the
terminology of any particular mail system.
d. The specification must be extensible in order to accommodate
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
"SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
document are to be interpreted as described in RFC-KEYWORDS
All syntax descriptions use the ABNF specified by RFC-MSGFMT
[RFC5322] in which the lexical tokens (used below) are defined:
"CRLF", "FWS", "CFWS", "field-name", "mailbox-list", "msg-id", and
"text". The following lexical token is defined in RFC-SMTP
2. Requesting Message Disposition Notifications
Message disposition notifications are requested by including a
Disposition-Notification-To header field in the message containing
one or more addresses specifying where dispositions should be sent.
Further information to be used by the recipient's Mail User Agent
(MUA) [RFC5598] in generating the MDN may be provided by also
including Original-Recipient and/or Disposition-Notification-Options
header fields in the message.
2.1. The Disposition-Notification-To Header
A request for the receiving user agent to issue message disposition
notifications is made by placing a Disposition-Notification-To header
field into the message. The syntax of the header field is
mdn-request-header = "Disposition-Notification-To" ":"
A Disposition-Notification-To header field can appear in a message at
The presence of a Disposition-Notification-To header field in a
message is merely a request for an MDN. The recipients' user agents
are always free to silently ignore such a request.
An MDN MUST NOT itself have a Disposition-Notification-To header
field. An MDN MUST NOT be generated in response to an MDN.
A user agent MUST NOT issue more than one MDN on behalf of each
particular recipient. That is, once an MDN has been issued on behalf
of a recipient, no further MDNs may be issued on behalf of that
recipient by the same user agent, even if another disposition is
performed on the message. However, if a message is forwarded, an MDN
may have been issued for the recipient doing the forwarding, and the
recipient of the forwarded message may also cause an MDN to be
It is also possible that if the same message is being accessed by
multiple user agents (for example, using POP3), then multiple
dispositions might be generated for the same recipient. User agents
SHOULD leverage support in the underlying message access protocol to
prevent multiple MDNs from being generated. In particular, when the
user agent is accessing the message using RFC-IMAP [RFC3501], it
SHOULD implement the procedures specified in RFC-IMAP-MDN [RFC3503].
While Internet standards normally do not specify the behavior of user
interfaces, it is strongly recommended that the user agent obtain the
user's consent before sending an MDN. This consent could be obtained
for each message through some sort of prompt or dialog box, or
globally through the user's setting of a preference. The user might
also indicate globally that MDNs are to never be sent. The purpose
of obtaining user's consent is to protect user's privacy. The
default value should be not to send MDNs.
MDNs MUST NOT be sent automatically if the address in the
Disposition-Notification-To header field differs from the address in
the Return-Path header field (see RFC-MSGFMT [RFC5322]). In this
case, confirmation from the user MUST be obtained, if possible. If
obtaining consent is not possible (e.g., because the user is not
online at the time or the client is not an interactive email client),
then an MDN MUST NOT be sent.
Confirmation from the user MUST be obtained (or no MDN sent) if there
is no Return-Path header field in the message or if there is more
than one distinct address in the Disposition-Notification-To header
The comparison of the addresses is done using only the addr-spec
(local-part "@" domain) portion, excluding any angle brackets,
phrase, and route. As prescribed by RFC 5322, the comparison is case
sensitive for the local-part and case insensitive for the domain
part. The local-part comparison SHOULD be done after performing
local-part canonicalization, i.e., after removing the surrounding
double-quote characters, if any, as well as any escaping "\"
characters. (See RFC-MSGFMT [RFC5322] for more details.)
Implementations MAY treat known domain aliases as equivalent for the
purpose of comparison.
Note that use of subaddressing (see [RFC5233]) can result in a
failure to match two local-parts and thus result in possible
suppression of the MDN. This document doesn't recommend special
handling for this case, as the receiving MUA can't reliably know
whether or not the sender is using subaddressing.
If the message contains more than one Return-Path header field, the
implementation may pick one to use for the comparison or treat the
situation as a failure of the comparison.
The reason for not automatically sending an MDN if the comparison
fails or more than one address is specified is to reduce the
possibility of mail loops and of MDNs being used for mail bombing.
It's especially important that a message that contains a Disposition-
Notification-To header field also contain a Message-ID header field
to permit user agents to automatically correlate MDNs with their
If the request for message disposition notifications for some
recipients and not others is desired, two copies of the message
should be sent, one with a Disposition-Notification-To header field
and one without. Many of the other header fields of the message
(e.g., To, Cc) will be the same in both copies. The recipients in
the respective message envelopes determine from whom message
disposition notifications are requested and from whom they are not.
If desired, the Message-ID header field may be the same in both
copies of the message. Note that there are other situations (e.g.,
Bcc) in which it is necessary to send multiple copies of a message
with slightly different header fields. The combination of such
situations and the need to request MDNs for a subset of all
recipients may result in more than two copies of a message being
sent, some with a Disposition-Notification-To header field and some
If it is possible to determine that a recipient is a newsgroup, do
not include a Disposition-Notification-To header field for that
recipient. Similarly, if an existing message is resent or gatewayed
to a newsgroup, the agent that is resending/gatewaying SHOULD strip
the Disposition-Notification-To header field. See Section 5 for more
discussion. Clients that see an otherwise valid Disposition-
Notification-To header field in a newsgroup message SHOULD NOT
generate an MDN.
2.2. The Disposition-Notification-Options Header
Extensions to this specification may require that information be
supplied to the recipient's MUA for additional control over how and
what MDNs are generated. The Disposition-Notification-Options header
field provides an extensible mechanism for such information. The
syntax of this header field is as follows:
"Disposition-Notification-Options" ":" [FWS]
*([FWS] ";" [FWS] disposition-notification-parameter)
disposition-notification-parameter = attribute [FWS] "="
[FWS] importance [FWS] "," [FWS] value
*([FWS] "," [FWS] value)
importance = "required" / "optional"
attribute = Atom
value = word
A Disposition-Notification-Options header field can appear in a
message at most once.
An importance of "required" indicates that interpretation of the
disposition-notification-parameter is necessary for proper generation
of an MDN in response to this request. An importance of "optional"
indicates that an MUA that does not understand the meaning of this
disposition-notification-parameter MAY generate an MDN in response
anyway, ignoring the value of the disposition-notification-parameter.
No disposition-notification-parameter attribute names are defined in
this specification. Attribute names may be defined in the future by
later revisions or extensions to this specification. Disposition-
notification-parameter attribute names MUST be registered with the
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) using the "Specification
Required" registration policy [RFC5226]. The "X-" prefix has
historically been used to denote unregistered "experimental" protocol
elements that are assumed not to become common use. Deployment
experience of this and other protocols has shown that this assumption
is often false. This document allows the use of the "X-" prefix
primarily to allow the registration of attributes that are already in
common use. The prefix has no meaning for new attributes. Its use
in substantially new attributes may cause confusion and is therefore
discouraged. (See Section 10 for a registration form.)
2.3. The Original-Recipient Header Field
Since electronic mail addresses may be rewritten while the message is
in transit, it is useful for the original recipient address to be
made available by the delivering Message Transfer Agent (MTA)
[RFC5598]. The delivering MTA may be able to obtain this information
from the ORCPT parameter of the SMTP RCPT TO command, as defined in
RFC-SMTP [RFC5321] and RFC-DSN-SMTP [RFC3461].
RFC-DSN-SMTP [RFC3461] is amended as follows: if the ORCPT
information is available, the delivering MTA SHOULD insert an
Original-Recipient header field at the beginning of the message
(along with the Return-Path header field). The delivering MTA MAY
delete any other Original-Recipient header fields that occur in the
message. The syntax of this header field is as follows:
"Original-Recipient" ":" OWS address-type OWS
";" OWS generic-address OWS
OWS = [CFWS]
; Optional whitespace.
; MDN generators SHOULD use "*WSP"
; (Typically a single space or nothing.
; It SHOULD be nothing at the end of a field.),
; unless an RFC 5322 "comment" is required.
; MDN parsers MUST parse it as "[CFWS]".
The address-type and generic-address tokens are as specified in the
description of the Original-Recipient field in Section 3.2.3.
The purpose of carrying the original recipient information and
returning it in the MDN is to permit automatic correlation of MDNs
with the original message on a per-recipient basis.
2.4. Use with the Message/Partial Media Type
The use of the header fields Disposition-Notification-To,
Disposition-Notification-Options, and Original-Recipient with the
MIME message/partial content type (RFC-MIME-MEDIA [RFC2046]) requires
When a message is segmented into two or more message/partial
fragments, the three header fields mentioned in the above paragraph
SHOULD be placed in the "inner" or "enclosed" message (using the
terms of RFC-MIME-MEDIA [RFC2046]). If these header fields are found
in the header fields of any of the fragments, they are ignored.
When the multiple message/partial fragments are reassembled, the
following applies. If these header fields occur along with the other
header fields of a message/partial fragment message, they pertain to
an MDN that will be generated for the fragment. If these header
fields occur in the header fields of the "inner" or "enclosed"
message (using the terms of RFC-MIME-MEDIA [RFC2046]), they pertain
to an MDN that will be generated for the reassembled message.
Section 18.104.22.168 of RFC-MIME-MEDIA [RFC2046]) is amended to specify
that, in addition to the header fields specified there, the three
header fields described in this specification are to be appended, in
order, to the header fields of the reassembled message. Any
occurrences of the three header fields defined here in the header
fields of the initial enclosing message MUST NOT be copied to the
3. Format of a Message Disposition Notification
A message disposition notification is a MIME message with a top-level
content type of multipart/report (defined in RFC-REPORT [RFC6522]).
When multipart/report content is used to transmit an MDN:
a. The report-type parameter of the multipart/report content is
b. The first component of the multipart/report contains a human-
readable explanation of the MDN, as described in RFC-REPORT
c. The second component of the multipart/report is of content type
message/disposition-notification, described in Section 3.1 of
d. If the original message or a portion of the message is to be
returned to the sender, it appears as the third component of the
multipart/report. The decision of whether or not to return the
message or part of the message is up to the MUA generating the
MDN. However, in the case of encrypted messages requesting MDNs,
if the original message or a portion thereof is returned, it MUST
be in its original encrypted form.
NOTE: For message disposition notifications gatewayed from foreign
systems, the header fields of the original message may not be
available. In this case, the third component of the MDN may be
omitted, or it may contain "simulated" RFC-MSGFMT [RFC5322] header
fields that contain equivalent information. In particular, it is
very desirable to preserve the subject and date fields from the
The MDN MUST be addressed (in both the message header field and the
transport envelope) to the address(es) from the Disposition-
Notification-To header field from the original message for which the
MDN is being generated.
The From header field of the MDN MUST contain the address of the
person for whom the message disposition notification is being issued.
The envelope sender address (i.e., SMTP "MAIL FROM") of the MDN MUST
be null (<>), specifying that no Delivery Status Notification
messages nor other messages indicating successful or unsuccessful
delivery are to be sent in response to an MDN.
A message disposition notification MUST NOT itself request an MDN.
That is, it MUST NOT contain a Disposition-Notification-To header
The Message-ID header field (if present) for an MDN MUST be different
from the Message-ID of the message for which the MDN is being issued.
A particular MDN describes the disposition of exactly one message for
exactly one recipient. Multiple MDNs may be generated as a result of
one message submission, one per recipient. However, due to the
circumstances described in Section 2.1, it's possible that some of
the recipients for whom MDNs were requested will not generate MDNs.
3.1. The Message/Disposition-Notification Media Type
The message/disposition-notification media type is defined as
Type name: message
Subtype name: disposition-notification
Required parameters: none
Optional parameters: none
Encoding considerations: "7bit" encoding is sufficient and MUST be
used to maintain readability when viewed by
non-MIME mail readers.
Security considerations: discussed in Section 6 of RFC 8098.
Interoperability considerations: none
Published specification: RFC 8098
Applications that use this media type: Mail Transfer Agents and
email clients that support multipart/report
generation and/or parsing.
Fragment identifier considerations: N/A
Deprecated alias names for this type: N/A
Magic number(s): none
File extension(s): .disposition-notification
Macintosh file type code(s): The 'TEXT' type
code is suggested as files of this type are
typically used for diagnostic purposes and
suitable for analysis in a text editor. A
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI) of "public.utf8-
email-message-header" is suggested. This type
conforms to "public.plain-text".
Person & email address to contact for further information:
ART Area Mailing List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Intended usage: COMMON
Restrictions on usage: This media type contains textual data in the
US-ASCII charset, which is always 7bit.
Author: See the Authors' Addresses section of RFC 8098.
Change controller: IETF
Provisional registration? no
(While the 7bit restriction applies to the message/disposition-
notification portion of the multipart/report content, it does not
apply to the optional third portion of the multipart/report content.)
The message/disposition-notification report type for use in the
multipart/report is "disposition-notification".
The body of a message/disposition-notification consists of one or
more "fields" formatted according to the ABNF of RFC-MSGFMT [RFC5322]
header "fields". The syntax of the message/disposition-notification
content is as follows:
disposition-notification-content = [ reporting-ua-field CRLF ]
[ mdn-gateway-field CRLF ]
[ original-recipient-field CRLF ]
[ original-message-id-field CRLF ]
*( error-field CRLF )
*( extension-field CRLF )
extension-field = extension-field-name ":" *([FWS] text)
extension-field-name = field-name
Note that the order of the above fields is recommended but not fixed.
Extension fields can appear anywhere.
3.1.1. General Conventions for Fields
Since these fields are defined according to the rules of RFC-MSGFMT
[RFC5322], the same conventions for continuation lines and comments
apply. Notification fields may be continued onto multiple lines by
beginning each additional line with a SPACE or HTAB. Text that
appears in parentheses is considered a comment and not part of the
contents of that notification field. Field names are case
insensitive, so the names of notification fields may be spelled in
any combination of uppercase and lowercase letters. RFC-MSGFMT
[RFC5322] comments in notification fields may use the "encoded-word"
construct defined in RFC-MIME-HEADER [RFC2047].
3.1.2. "*-type" Subfields
Several fields consist of a "-type" subfield, followed by a semi-
colon, followed by "*text". For these fields, the keyword used in
the address-type or MTA-type subfield indicates the expected format
of the address or MTA-name that follows.
The "-type" subfields are defined as follows:
a. An "address-type" specifies the format of a mailbox address. For
example, Internet Mail addresses use the "rfc822" address-type.
Other values can appear in this field as specified in the
"Address Types" IANA subregistry established by RFC-DSN-FORMAT
address-type = Atom
Atom = <The version from RFC 5321 (not from RFC 5322)
is used in this document.>
b. An "MTA-name-type" specifies the format of a mail transfer agent
name. For example, for an SMTP server on an Internet host, the
MTA name is the domain name of that host, and the "dns" MTA-name-
type is used. Other values can appear in this field as specified
in the "MTA Name Types" IANA subregistry established by RFC-DSN-
mta-name-type = Atom
Values for address-type and mta-name-type are case insensitive.
Thus, address-type values of "RFC822" and "rfc822" are equivalent.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) maintains a registry
of address-type and mta-name-type values, along with descriptions of
the meanings of each or a reference to one or more specifications
that provide such descriptions. (The "rfc822" address-type is
defined in RFC-DSN-SMTP [RFC3461].) Registration forms for address-
type and mta-name-type appear in RFC-DSN-FORMAT [RFC3464].
3.2. Message/Disposition-Notification Content Fields
3.2.1. The Reporting-UA Field
reporting-ua-field = "Reporting-UA" ":" OWS ua-name OWS
[ ";" OWS ua-product OWS ]
ua-name = *text-no-semi
ua-product = *([FWS] text)
text-no-semi = %d1-9 / ; "text" characters excluding NUL, CR,
%d11 / %d12 / %d14-58 / %d60-127 ; LF, or semi-colon
The Reporting-UA field is defined as follows:
An MDN describes the disposition of a message after it has been
delivered to a recipient. In all cases, the Reporting-UA is the MUA
that performed the disposition described in the MDN.
The "Reporting-UA" field contains information about the MUA that
generated the MDN, which is often used by servers to help identify
the scope of reported interoperability problems, to work around or
tailor responses to avoid particular MUA limitations, and for
analytics regarding MUA or operating system use. An MUA SHOULD send
a "Reporting-UA" field unless specifically configured not to do so.
If the reporting MUA consists of more than one component (e.g., a
base program and plug-ins), this may be indicated by including a list
of product names.
A reporting MUA SHOULD limit generated product identifiers to what is
necessary to identify the product; a sender MUST NOT generate
advertising or other nonessential information within the product
A reporting MUA SHOULD NOT generate a "Reporting-UA" field containing
needlessly fine-grained detail and SHOULD limit the addition of
subproducts by third parties. Overly long and detailed "Reporting-
UA" field values increase the risk of a user being identified against
their wishes ("fingerprinting").
Likewise, implementations are encouraged not to use the product
tokens of other implementations in order to declare compatibility
with them, as this circumvents the purpose of the field. If an MUA
masquerades as a different MUA, recipients can assume that the user
intentionally desires to see responses tailored for that identified
MUA, even if they might not work as well for the actual MUA being
Reporting-UA: Foomail 97.1
3.2.2. The MDN-Gateway Field
The MDN-Gateway field indicates the name of the gateway or MTA that
translated a foreign (non-Internet) message disposition notification
into this MDN. This field MUST appear in any MDN that was translated
by a gateway from a foreign system into MDN format and MUST NOT
mdn-gateway-field = "MDN-Gateway" ":" OWS mta-name-type OWS
";" OWS mta-name OWS
mta-name = *text
For gateways into Internet Mail, the MTA-name-type will normally be
"dns", and the mta-name will be the Internet domain name of the
3.2.3. Original-Recipient Field
The Original-Recipient field indicates the original recipient address
as specified by the sender of the message for which the MDN is being
issued. For Internet Mail messages, the value of the Original-
Recipient field is obtained from the Original-Recipient header field
from the message for which the MDN is being generated. If there is
an Original-Recipient header field in the message, or if information
about the original recipient is reliably available some other way,
then the Original-Recipient field MUST be included. Otherwise, the
Original-Recipient field MUST NOT be included. If there is more than
one Original-Recipient header field in the message, the MUA may
choose the one to use or act as if no Original-Recipient header field
"Original-Recipient" ":" OWS address-type OWS
";" OWS generic-address OWS
generic-address = *text
The address-type field indicates the type of the original recipient
address. If the message originated within the Internet, the address-
type field will normally be "rfc822", and the address will be
according to the syntax specified in RFC-MSGFMT [RFC5322]. The value
"unknown" should be used if the Reporting MUA cannot determine the
type of the original recipient address from the message envelope.
This address is the same as that provided by the sender and can be
used to automatically correlate MDN reports with original messages on
a per-recipient basis.
3.2.4. Final-Recipient Field
The Final-Recipient field indicates the recipient for which the MDN
is being issued. This field MUST be present.
The syntax of the field is as follows:
final-recipient-field = "Final-Recipient" ":" OWS address-type OWS
";" OWS generic-address OWS
The generic-address subfield of the Final-Recipient field SHOULD
contain the mailbox address of the recipient (which will be the same
as the From header field of the MDN) as it was when the MDN was
generated by the MUA.
One example of when this field might not contain the final
recipient address of the message is when an alias (e.g.,
<email@example.com>) forwards mail to a specific
personal address (e.g., <firstname.lastname@example.org>). Bob might want to be
able to send MDNs but not give away his personal email address.
In this case, the Final-Recipient field can contain:
in place of:
The Final-Recipient address may differ from the address originally
provided by the sender, because it may have been transformed during
forwarding and gatewaying into a totally unrecognizable mess.
However, in the absence of the optional Original-Recipient field, the
Final-Recipient field and any returned content may be the only
information available with which to correlate the MDN with a
particular message recipient.
The address-type subfield indicates the type of address expected by
the reporting MTA in that context. Recipient addresses obtained via
SMTP will normally be of address-type "rfc822", but can be other
values from the "Address Types" subregistry of the "Delivery Status
Notification (DSN) Types" IANA registry.
Since mailbox addresses (including those used in the Internet) may be
case sensitive, the case of alphabetic characters in the address MUST
3.2.5. Original-Message-ID Field
The Original-Message-ID field indicates the message-ID of the message
for which the MDN is being issued. It is obtained from the
Message-ID header field of the message for which the MDN is issued.
This field MUST be present if and only if the original message
contained a Message-ID header field. The syntax of the field is as
"Original-Message-ID" ":" msg-id
The msg-id token is as specified in RFC-MSGFMT [RFC5322].
3.2.6. Disposition Field
The Disposition field indicates the action performed by the Reporting
MUA on behalf of the user. This field MUST be present.
The syntax for the Disposition field is:
"Disposition" ":" OWS disposition-mode OWS ";"
[ OWS "/" OWS disposition-modifier
*( OWS "," OWS disposition-modifier ) ] OWS
disposition-mode = action-mode OWS "/" OWS sending-mode
action-mode = "manual-action" / "automatic-action"
sending-mode = "MDN-sent-manually" / "MDN-sent-automatically"
disposition-type = "displayed" / "deleted" / "dispatched" /
disposition-modifier = "error" / disposition-modifier-extension
disposition-modifier-extension = Atom
The disposition-mode, disposition-type, and disposition-modifier
values may be spelled in any combination of uppercase and lowercase
22.214.171.124. Disposition Modes
Disposition mode consists of two parts: action mode and sending mode.
The following action modes are defined:
"manual-action" The disposition described by the disposition type
was a result of an explicit instruction by the
user rather than some sort of automatically
performed action. (This might include the case
when the user has manually configured her MUA to
automatically respond to valid MDN requests.)
Unless prescribed otherwise in a particular mail
environment, in order to preserve the user's
privacy, this MUST be the default for MUAs.
"automatic-action" The disposition described by the disposition type
was a result of an automatic action rather than
an explicit instruction by the user for this
message. This is typically generated by a Mail
Delivery Agent (e.g., MDN generations by Sieve
reject action [RFC5429], Fax-over-Email
[RFC3249], voice message system (see Voice
Profile for Internet Mail (VPIM) [RFC3801]), or
upon delivery to a mailing list).
"Manual-action" and "automatic-action" are mutually exclusive. One
or the other MUST be specified.
The following sending modes are defined:
"MDN-sent-manually" The user explicitly gave permission for this
particular MDN to be sent. Unless prescribed
otherwise in a particular mail environment, in
order to preserve the user's privacy, this MUST
be the default for MUAs.
The MDN was sent because the MUA had previously
been configured to do so automatically.
"MDN-sent-manually" and "MDN-sent-automatically" are mutually
exclusive. One or the other MUST be specified.
126.96.36.199. Disposition Types
The following disposition-types are defined:
"displayed" The message has been displayed by the MUA to
someone reading the recipient's mailbox. There
is no guarantee that the content has been read or
"dispatched" The message has been sent somewhere in some
manner (e.g., printed, faxed, forwarded) without
necessarily having been previously displayed to
the user. The user may or may not see the
"processed" The message has been processed in some manner
(i.e., by some sort of rules or server) without
being displayed to the user. The user may or may
not see the message later, or there may not even
be a human user associated with the mailbox.
"deleted" The message has been deleted. The recipient may
or may not have seen the message. The recipient
might "undelete" the message at a later time and
read the message.
188.8.131.52. Disposition Modifiers
Only the extension disposition modifiers are defined:
Disposition modifiers may be defined in the
future by later revisions or extensions to this
specification. MDN disposition value names MUST
be registered with the Internet Assigned Numbers
Authority (IANA) using the "Specification
Required" registration policy. (See Section 10
for a registration form.) MDNs with disposition
modifier names not understood by the receiving
MUA MAY be silently ignored or placed in the
user's mailbox without special interpretation.
They MUST NOT cause any error message to be sent
to the sender of the MDN.
It is not required that an MUA be able to generate all of the
possible values of the Disposition field.
A user agent MUST NOT issue more than one MDN on behalf of each
particular recipient. That is, once an MDN has been issued on behalf
of a recipient, no further MDNs may be issued on behalf of that
recipient, even if another disposition is performed on the message.
However, if a message is forwarded, a "dispatched" MDN MAY be issued
for the recipient doing the forwarding and the recipient of the
forwarded message may also cause an MDN to be generated.
3.2.7. Error Field
The Error field is used to supply additional information in the form
of text messages when the "error" disposition modifier appears. The
syntax is as follows:
error-field = "Error" ":" *([FWS] text)
Note that syntax of these header fields doesn't include comments, so
the "encoded-word" construct defined in RFC-MIME-HEADER [RFC2047]
can't be used to convey non-ASCII text. Applications that need to
convey non-ASCII text in these fields should consider implementing
the message/global-disposition-notification media type specified in
[RFC6533] instead of this specification.
Additional MDN fields may be defined in the future by later revisions
or extensions to this specification. MDN field names MUST be
registered with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) using
the "Specification Required" registration policy. (See Section 10
for a registration form.) MDN Extension-fields may be defined for
the following reasons:
a. To allow additional information from foreign disposition reports
to be tunneled through Internet MDNs. The names of such MDN
fields should begin with an indication of the foreign environment
name (e.g., X400-Physical-Forwarding-Address).
b. To allow transmission of diagnostic information that is specific
to a particular Mail User Agent (MUA). The names of such MDN
fields should begin with an indication of the MUA implementation
that produced the MDN (e.g., Foomail-information).