Network Working Group S. Bradner, Ed. Request for Comments: 3978 Harvard University BCP: 78 March 2005 Obsoletes: 3667 Updates: 2026 Category: Best Current Practice IETF Rights in Contributions Status of this Memo This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Distribution of this memo is unlimited. Copyright Notice Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).
AbstractThe IETF policies about rights in Contributions to the IETF are designed to ensure that such Contributions can be made available to the IETF and Internet communities while permitting the authors to retain as many rights as possible. This memo details the IETF policies on rights in Contributions to the IETF. It also describes the objectives that the policies are designed to meet. This memo updates RFC 2026, and, with RFC 3979, replaces Section 10 of RFC 2026. 1. Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2. Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3. Rights in IETF Contributions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3.1. General Policy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3.2. Confidentiality Obligations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3.3. Granting of Rights and Permissions. . . . . . . . . . . 6 3.4. Representations and Warranties. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 3.5. No Duty to Publish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 3.6. Trademarks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 4. Rights in RFC Editor Contributions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 4.1. Requirements from Section 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 4.2. Granting of Rights and Permissions. . . . . . . . . . . 8 5. Notices Required in IETF Documents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 5.1. IPR Disclosure Acknowledgement. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 5.2. Derivative Works Limitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
5.3. Publication Limitation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 5.4. Copyright Notice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 5.5. Disclaimer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 5.6. Exceptions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 6. Notices and Rights Required in RFC Editor Contributions . . . 13 7. Exposition of why these procedures are the way they are . . . 13 7.1. Rights Granted in IETF Contributions. . . . . . . . . . 13 7.2. Rights to use Contributed Material. . . . . . . . . . . 14 7.3. Right to Produce Derivative Works . . . . . . . . . . . 14 7.4. Rights to use Trademarks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 7.5. Who Does This Apply To? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 8. Contributions Not Subject to Copyright. . . . . . . . . . . . 16 9. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 10. References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 10.1. Normative References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 10.2. Informative References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 11. Acknowledgements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Editor's Address. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Full Copyright Statement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 RFC2028]. a. "IETF": In the context of this document, the IETF includes all individuals who participate in meetings, working groups, mailing lists, functions and other activities which are organized or initiated by ISOC, the IESG or the IAB under the general designation of the Internet Engineering Task Force or IETF, but solely to the extent of such participation. b. "IETF Standards Process": the activities undertaken by the IETF in any of the settings described in 1(c) below. c. "IETF Contribution": any submission to the IETF intended by the Contributor for publication as all or part of an Internet-Draft or RFC (except for RFC Editor Contributions described below) and any statement made within the context of an IETF activity. Such statements include oral statements in IETF sessions, as well as written and electronic communications made at any time or place, which are addressed to: o the IETF plenary session, o any IETF working group or portion thereof, o the IESG, or any member thereof on behalf of the IESG, o the IAB or any member thereof on behalf of the IAB,
o any IETF mailing list, including the IETF list itself, any working group or design team list, or any other list functioning under IETF auspices, o the RFC Editor or the Internet-Drafts function (except for RFC Editor Contributions described below). Statements made outside of an IETF session, mailing list or other function, that are clearly not intended to be input to an IETF activity, group or function, are not IETF Contributions in the context of this document. d. "Internet-Draft": temporary documents used in the IETF and RFC Editor processes. Internet-Drafts are posted on the IETF web site by the IETF Secretariat and have a nominal maximum lifetime in the Secretariat's public directory of 6 months, after which they are removed. Note that Internet-Drafts are archived many places on the Internet, and not all of these places remove expired Internet-Drafts. Internet-Drafts that are under active consideration by the IESG are not removed from the Secretariat's public directory until that consideration is complete. In addition, the author of an Internet-Draft can request that the lifetime in the Secretariat's public directory be extended before the expiration. e. "RFC": the basic publication series for the IETF. RFCs are published by the RFC Editor and once published are never modified. (See [RFC2026] Section 2.1) f. "RFC Editor Contribution": An Internet-Draft intended by the Contributor to be submitted to the RFC Editor for publication as an Informational or Experimental RFC but not intended to be part of the IETF Standards Process. g. "IETF Internet-Drafts": Internet-Drafts other than RFC Editor Contributions. Note that under Section 3.3(a) the grant of rights in regards to IETF Internet-Drafts as specified in this document is perpetual and irrevocable and thus survives the Secretariat's removal of an Internet-Draft from the public directory, except as limited by Section 3.3(a)(C). (See [RFC2026] Sections 2.2 and 8) h. "IETF Documents": RFCs and Internet-Drafts except for Internet- Drafts that are RFC Editor Contributions and the RFCs that are published from them. i. "RFC Editor Documents": RFCs and Internet-Drafts that are RFC Editor Contributions and the RFCs that may be published from them. j. "Contribution": IETF Contributions and RFC Editor Contributions.
k. "Contributor": an individual submitting a Contribution. l. "Reasonably and personally known": means something an individual knows personally or, because of the job the individual holds, would reasonably be expected to know. This wording is used to indicate that an organization cannot purposely keep an individual in the dark about patents or patent applications just to avoid the disclosure requirement. But this requirement should not be interpreted as requiring the IETF Contributor or participant (or his or her represented organization, if any) to perform a patent search to find applicable IPR. Berne]), authors obtain numerous rights in the works they produce automatically upon producing them. These rights include copyrights, moral rights and other rights. In many cases, if the author produces a work within the scope of his or her employment, most of those rights are usually assigned to the employer, either by operation of law or, in many cases, under contract. (The Berne Convention names some rights as "inalienable", which means that the author retains them in all cases.) This document details the rights that the IETF requires in IETF Contributions and rights the IETF, as publisher of Internet-Drafts, requires in all such Drafts including RFC Editor Contributions. The RFC Editor may also define additional rights required for RFC Editor Contributions. In order for works to be used within the IETF Standards Process or to be published as Internet-Drafts, certain limited rights in all Contributions must be granted to the IETF and Internet Society (ISOC). In addition, Contributors must make representations to IETF and ISOC regarding their ability to grant these rights. These necessary rights and representations have until now been laid out in Section 10 of [RFC2026]. In the years since [RFC2026] was published there have been a number of times when the exact intent of Section 10 has been the subject of vigorous debate within the IETF community. The aim of this document is to clarify various ambiguities in Section 10 of [RFC2026] that led to these debates and to amplify the policy in order to clarify what the IETF is currently doing. Section 1 gives definitions used in describing these policies. Sections 3, 4, 5, and 6 of this document address the rights in Contributions previously covered by Section 10 of [RFC2026] and the "Note Well" explanatory text presented at many IETF activities.
Sections 7 and 8 then explain the rationale for these provisions, including some of the clarifications that have become understood since the adoption of [RFC2026]. The rules and procedures set out in this document are not intended to substantially modify or alter the IETF's current policy toward Contributions. A companion document [RFC3979] deals with rights in technologies developed or specified as part of the IETF Standards Process. This document is not intended to address those issues. The rights addressed in this document fall into the following categories: o rights to make use of contributed material o copyrights in IETF documents o rights to produce derivative works o rights to use trademarks This document is not intended as legal advice. Readers are advised to consult their own legal advisors if they would like a legal interpretation of their rights or the rights of the IETF in any Contributions they make.
Section 5.2 below], to prepare derivative works (other than translations) that are based on or incorporate all or part of the Contribution, or comment upon it, within the IETF Standards Process. The license to such derivative works not granting the ISOC and the IETF any more rights than the license to the original Contribution, (D) to reproduce any trademarks, service marks or trade names which are included in the Contribution solely in connection with the reproduction, distribution or publication of the Contribution and derivative works thereof as permitted by this paragraph. When reproducing Contributions, the IETF will preserve trademark and service mark identifiers used by the Contributor of the Contribution, including (TM) and (R) where appropriate, and (E) to extract, copy, publish, display, distribute, modify and incorporate into other works, for any purpose (and not limited to use within the IETF Standards Process) any executable code or code fragments that are included in any IETF Document (such as MIB and PIB modules), subject to the requirements of Section 5 (it also being understood that the licenses granted under this paragraph (E) shall not be deemed to grant any right under any patent, patent application or other similar
intellectual property right disclosed by the Contributor under [RFC3979]). b. The Contributor grants the IETF and ISOC permission to reference the name(s) and address(es) of the Contributor(s) and of the organization(s) s/he represents or is sponsored by (if any). Section 3.4 and Section 3.3 or 4.2.
should be submitted in the same way as is done for other intellectual property claims. (See [RFC3979] Section 6.) 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6. Section 5.2 below), to prepare derivative works (other than translations) that are based on or incorporate all or part of the RFC Editor Contribution, or comment upon it. The license to such derivative works not granting the ISOC and the IETF any more rights than the license to the original RFC Editor Contribution, and
(D) to reproduce any trademarks, service marks or trade names which are included in the RFC Editor Contribution solely in connection with the reproduction, distribution or publication of the RFC Editor Contribution and derivative works thereof as permitted by this paragraph. When reproducing RFC Editor Contributions, the IETF will preserve trademark and service mark identifiers used by the Contributor of the RFC Editor Contribution, including (TM) and (R) where appropriate. b. The Contributor grants the IETF and ISOC permission to reference the name(s) and address(es) of the Contributor(s) and of the organization(s) s/he represents or is sponsored by (if any). Section 5 be reproduced verbatim in all IETF Documents (including copies, derivative works and translations of IETF Documents, but subject to the limited exceptions noted in Section 5.2). This requirement protects IETF and its participants from liabilities connected with these documents. The copyright notice also alerts readers that the document is an IETF Document, and that ISOC claims copyright rights to certain aspects of the document, such as its layout, the RFC numbering convention and the prefatory language of the document. This legend is not intended to imply that ISOC has obtained ownership of the IETF Contribution itself, which is retained by the author(s) or remains in the public domain, as applicable. Each IETF Document must include the required notices described in this Section 5. The required notices are the following: a. The IPR Disclosure Acknowledgement described in Section 5.1 (required in all Internet-Drafts). b. The Derivative Works Limitation described in Section 5.2 (for specific IETF Documents only). c. The Publication Limitation described in Section 5.3 (for specific types of Internet-Drafts only). d. The Copyright Notice described in Section 5.4 (for all IETF Documents). e. The Disclaimer described in Section 5.5 (for all IETF Documents).
Section 6 of BCP 79." Section 5.3 when the Contributor does not intend for the IETF Contribution to be published as an RFC. These notices may not be used with any standards-track document or with most working group documents, except as discussed in Section 7.3 below, since the IETF must retain change control over its documents and the ability to augment, clarify and enhance the original IETF Contribution in accordance with the IETF Standards Process. Notice 5.2(a) may be appropriate when republishing standards produced by other (non-IETF) standards organizations, industry consortia or companies. These are typically published as Informational RFCs, and do not require that change control be ceded to the IETF. Basically, documents of this type convey information for the Internet community.
A fuller discussion of the rationale behind these requirements is contained in Section 7.3 below. BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights." Additional copyright notices are not permitted in IETF Documents except in the case where such document is the product of a joint development effort between the IETF and another standards development organization or the document is a republication of the work of another standards organization. Such exceptions must be approved on an individual basis by the IAB.
Section 5, in certain limited cases an abbreviated notice may be placed on certain types of derivative works of IETF Documents in accordance with this Section 5.6. a. in MIB modules, PIB modules and similar material commonly extracted from IETF Documents, except for material that is being placed under IANA maintenance, the following abbreviated notice shall be included in the body of the material that will be extracted in lieu of the notices otherwise required by Section 5: "Copyright (C) The Internet Society <year>. This version of this MIB module is part of RFC XXXX; see the RFC itself for full legal notices." When the MIB or PIB module is the initial version of a module that is to be maintained by the IANA, the following abbreviated notice shall be included: "Copyright (C) The Internet Society <year>. The initial version of this MIB module was published in RFC XXXX; for full legal notices see the RFC itself. Supplementary information may be available at: http://www.ietf.org/copyrights/ianamib.html." For other types of components than "MIB", substitute "MIB module" with an appropriate identifier. In the case of MIB and PIB modules this statement should be placed in the DESCRIPTION clause of the MODULE-IDENTITY macro. Variations of these abbreviated notices are not permitted except in cases where the material to be extracted is the product of a joint development effort between the IETF and another standards development organization or is a republication of the work of another standards organization. Such variations must be approved on an individual basis by the IAB. b. short excerpts of IETF Documents presented in electronic help systems, for example, the DESCRIPTION clauses for MIB variables, do not need to include a copyright notice.
Section 5.1. b. One of the following three copyright release statements: A. "By submitting this Internet-Draft, I accept the provisions of Section 3 of BCP 78." B. "By submitting this Internet-Draft, I accept the provisions of Section 4 of BCP 78." C. The Copyright Notice specified in Section 5.4 and the disclaimer specified in section 5.5. Section 5.2), the right to make derivative works within the IETF process. e. the right to let third parties extract some logical parts, for example MIB modules The authors retain all other rights, but cannot withdraw the above rights from the IETF/ISOC.
Section 8 below regarding public domain documents), and IETF cannot make use of IETF Contributions if it does not have sufficient rights with respect to these copyright rights, it is important that the IETF receive assurances from all Contributors that they have the authority to grant the IETF the rights that they claim to grant. Without this assurance, IETF and its participants would run a greater risk of liability to the owners of these rights. To this end, IETF asks Contributors to give the assurances in Section 3.4 above. These assurances are requested, however, only to the extent of the Contributor's reasonable and personal knowledge. (See Section 1(l)) Section 3.3 (E). The right to produce derivative works is required for all IETF standards track documents and for most IETF non-standards track documents. There are two exceptions to this requirement: documents describing proprietary technologies and documents that are republications of the work of other standards organizations. The right to produce derivative works must be granted in order for an IETF working group to accept an IETF Contribution as a working group document or otherwise work on it. For non-working group IETF Contributions where the Contributor requests publication as a standards track RFC the right to produce derivative works must be granted before the IESG will issue an IETF Last-Call and, for most non-standards track non-working group IETF Contributions, before the IESG will consider the Internet-Draft for publication.
Occasionally a Contributor may not want to grant publication rights or the right to produce derivative works before finding out if an IETF Contribution has been accepted for development in the IETF Standards Process. In these cases the Contributor may include the Derivative Works Limitation described in Section 5.2 and the Publication Limitation described in Section 5.3 in their IETF Contribution. A working group can discuss the Internet-Draft with the aim to decide if it should become a working group document, even though the right to produce derivative works or to publish the IETF Contribution as an RFC has not yet been granted. If the IETF Contribution is accepted for development the Contributor must then resubmit the IETF Contribution without the limitation notices before a working group can formally adopt the IETF Contribution as a working group document. The IETF has historically encouraged organizations to publish details of their technologies, even when the technologies are proprietary, because understanding how existing technology is being used helps when developing new technology. But organizations that publish information about proprietary technologies are frequently not willing to have the IETF produce revisions of the technologies and then claim that the IETF version is the "new version" of the organization's technology. Organizations that feel this way can specify that an IETF Contribution can be published with the other rights granted under this document but may withhold the right to produce derivative works other than translations. The right to produce translations is required before any IETF Contribution can be published as an RFC to ensure the widest possible distribution of the material in RFCs. In addition, IETF Documents frequently make normative references to standards or recommendations developed by other standards organizations. Since the publications of some standards organizations are not public documents, it can be quite helpful to the IETF to republish, with the permission of the other standards organization, some of these documents as RFCs so that the IETF community can have open access to them to better understand what they are referring to. In these cases the RFCs can be published without the right for the IETF to produce derivative works. In both of the above cases in which the production of derivative works is excluded, the Contributor must include a special legend in the IETF Contribution, as specified in Section 5.2, in order to notify IETF participants about this restriction.
Section 3.3 above, to grant IETF a perpetual license to use any such trademarks or service marks solely in exercising its rights to reproduce, publish and modify the IETF Contribution. This license does not authorize any IETF participant to use any trademark or service mark in connection with any product or service offering, but only in the context of IETF Documents and discussions. Section 1(a), irrespective of their employment or institutional affiliation. However, these licenses do not extend broadly to the employers, sponsors or institutions of such individuals, nor do they authorize the individuals to exercise any rights outside the specific context of the IETF Standards Process.
[RFC2026] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996. [RFC2028] Hovey, R. and S. Bradner, "The Organizations Involved in the IETF Standards Process", BCP 11, RFC 2028, October 1996. [RFC3979] Bradner, S., Ed, "Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology", BCP 79, RFC 3979, March 2005. [Berne] "Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Work", http://www.wipo.int/edocs/trtdocs/en/wo/wo001en.htm
Full Copyright Statement Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005). This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights. This document and the information contained herein are provided on an "AS IS" basis and THE CONTRIBUTOR, THE ORGANIZATION HE/SHE REPRESENTS OR IS SPONSORED BY (IF ANY), THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING TASK FORCE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Intellectual Property The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in this document or the extent to which any license under such rights might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has made any independent effort to identify any such rights. Information on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be found in BCP 78 and BCP 79. Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at http://www.ietf.org/ipr. The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement this standard. Please address the information to the IETF at ietf- email@example.com. Acknowledgement Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the Internet Society.