Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 5745
Updates: 4846
Category: Informational
A. Malis, Ed.
For the IAB
December 2009

Procedures for Rights Handling in the RFC IAB Stream


This document specifies the procedures by which authors of RFC IAB stream documents grant the community "incoming" rights for copying and using the text. It also specifies the "outgoing" rights the community grants to readers and users of those documents, and it requests that the IETF Trust manage the outgoing rights to effect this result.

Status of This Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright © 2009 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the document authors. All rights reserved.

This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal Provisions Relating to IETF Documents ( in effect on the date of publication of this document. Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect to this document. Code Components extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as described in the BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
   2.  Background  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
   3.  Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   4.  Rules for Submission and Use of Material  . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   5.  Procedures Requested of the IETF Trust  . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   6.  Patent and Trademark Rules for the IAB Stream . . . . . . . . . 4
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   9. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   10. IAB Members at the Time of This Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

1. Introduction

As the IETF has grown, the process and the community have become more careful about defining the rights relating to copying documents that are granted by authors to the community, and the corresponding rights that are granted by the community to readers and users of these documents. The creation of the IETF Trust [RFC4371], with its special role in managing intellectual property rights (IPR), has also increased the need to be explicit about these rights and decisions.

This document defines the copyright procedures for RFC IAB stream documents. It parallels the procedures for IETF-produced documents defined in RFC 5377 [RFC5377] and RFC 5378 [RFC5378].

In summary, submissions in the IAB stream use the same submission procedures and mechanisms that are defined in RFC 5378, and hence require the same "incoming rights" as IETF-stream documents. This document provides advice to the Trustees of the IETF Trust on "outgoing" rights to be granted to readers and users of IAB stream documents, and it explicitly requests the IETF Trust to manage the rights in accordance with this advice.

This document also specifies the policies with regard to the disclosure of Patents and Trademarks that may be relevant to a submission intended for the IAB stream.

2. Background

The concept of RFC streams in general, and the IAB stream in particular, is described in Section 5 of RFC 4844 [RFC4844].

Section 8 of RFC 4846 [RFC4846] presented the copyright rules for the Independent Submission stream. The present document is intended to be fully consistent with that section, and to update it by clarifying the formal procedures that the IETF Trust will use to effect those rules. In particular, it is the intention of this document to make the copyright rules for IAB stream documents identical to those for Independent Submission stream documents.

3. Goals

The goal of the IAB stream of RFCs is to publish information from the IAB to the Internet community. Consistent with the principle stated for the Independent Submission stream in Section 8 of RFC 4846, this objective will best be met with a liberal copyright policy on IAB stream documents. Therefore, the IAB stream policy is to allow any individual reading such documents to use the content thereof in any manner. The only restriction is that proper credit ("attribution") must be given. Lawyers describe this liberal policy by saying that this stream normally permits "unlimited derivative works". The only additional restriction for the use of IAB documents is that proper credit ("attribution") must be given.

However, for a small subset of documents published as IAB stream documents, such as output from other standards bodies, it is not reasonable to permit unlimited derivative works. In such cases, authors are permitted to request that the published IAB stream documents permit no derivative works.

Note also that this unlimited derivative works policy applies to all parts of an IAB stream document, including any code. Therefore, no separate licensing procedure is required for extracting and adapting code that is contained in an IAB stream document submitted under the (preferred) unlimited derivative works terms. On the other hand, code may not be extracted and adapted from IAB stream documents submitted under the "no derivative works" terms.

4. Rules for Submission and Use of Material

IAB stream authors will submit their material as Internet-Drafts. These drafts will be submitted to, and stored in, the IETF Internet- Drafts repository in the same fashion as IETF Internet-Drafts.

During Internet-Draft submission, authors who intend to submit their document for publication in the IAB stream will grant rights as described in [RFC5378]. To request that the contribution be published as an RFC that permits no derivative works, an author may use the form specified for use with RFC 5378.

The IETF Trust will publish rules that provide that the Trust grants to readers and users of material from IAB stream RFCs the right to make unlimited derivative works, unless the RFC specifies that no derivative works are permitted. This will permit anyone to copy, extract, modify, or otherwise use material from IAB stream RFCs as long as suitable attribution is given.

Contributors of Internet-Drafts intended for the IAB stream will include the appropriate boilerplate defined by the IETF Trust. This boilerplate shall indicate compliance with RFC 5378 and shall explicitly indicate either that no derivative works can be based on the contribution, or, as is preferred, that unlimited derivative works may be crafted from the contribution.

5. Procedures Requested of the IETF Trust

The IAB requests that the IETF Trust and its Trustees assist in meeting the goals and procedures set forth in this document.

The Trustees are requested to publicly confirm their willingness and ability to accept responsibility for the Intellectual Property Rights for the IAB stream.

Specifically, the Trustees are asked to develop the necessary boilerplate to enable the suitable marking of documents so that the IETF Trust receives the rights as specified in RFC 5378. These procedures need to also allow authors to indicate either no rights to make derivative works, or preferentially, the right to make unlimited derivative works from the documents. It is left to the Trust to specify exactly how this shall be clearly indicated in each document.

6. Patent and Trademark Rules for the IAB Stream

As specified above, contributors of documents for the IAB stream are expected to use the IETF Internet-Draft process, complying therein with the rules specified in the latest version of BCP 9, whose version at the time of writing was [RFC2026]. This includes the disclosure of Patent and Trademark issues that are known, or can be reasonably expected to be known, to the contributor.

Disclosure of license terms for patents is also requested, as specified in the most recent version of BCP 79. The version of BCP 79 at the time of this writing was [RFC3979], updated by [RFC4879]. The IAB stream has chosen to use the IETF's IPR disclosure mechanism,, for this purpose. The IAB would prefer the most liberal terms possible be made available for IAB stream documents. Terms that do not require fees or licensing are preferable. Non- discriminatory terms are strongly preferred over those that discriminate among users. However, although disclosure is required and the IAB may consider disclosures and terms in making a decision as to whether to submit a document for publication, there are no specific requirements on the licensing terms for intellectual property related to IAB stream publication.

7. Security Considerations

The integrity and quality of the IAB stream are the responsibility of the IAB. This document does not change those responsibilities.

8. References

8.1. Normative References

   [RFC2026]  Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
              3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.
   [RFC3979]  Bradner, S., Ed., "Intellectual Property Rights in IETF
              Technology", BCP 79, RFC 3979, March 2005.
   [RFC4371]   Carpenter, B., Ed., and L. Lynch, Ed., "BCP 101 Update
              for IPR Trust", BCP 101, RFC 4371, January 2006.
   [RFC4844]  Daigle, L., Ed., and Internet Architecture Board, "The RFC
              Series and RFC Editor", RFC 4844, July 2007.
   [RFC4846]  Klensin, J., Ed., and D. Thaler, Ed., "Independent
              Submissions to the RFC Editor", RFC 4846, July 2007.
   [RFC4879]  Narten, T., "Clarification of the Third Party Disclosure
              Procedure in RFC 3979", BCP 79, RFC 4879, April 2007.
   [RFC5378]  Bradner, S., Ed., and J. Contreras, Ed., "Rights
              Contributors Provide to the IETF Trust", BCP 78, RFC 5378,
              November 2008.

8.2. Informative References

   [RFC5377]  Halpern, J., Ed., "Advice to the Trustees of the IETF
              Trust on Rights to Be Granted in IETF Documents", RFC
              5377, November 2008.
   [RFC5744]  Braden, R. and J. Halpern, "Procedures for Rights Handling
              in the RFC Independent Submission Stream", RFC 5744,
              December 2009.

9. Acknowledgements

The author wishes to acknowledge that the majority of text of this document was derived from [RFC5744], and wishes to thank the authors of that document.

10. IAB Members at the Time of This Writing

Marcelo Bagnulo
Gonzalo Camarillo
Stuart Cheshire
Vijay Gill
Russ Housley
John Klensin
Olaf Kolkman
Gregory Lebovitz
Andrew Malis
Danny McPherson
David Oran
Jon Peterson
Dave Thaler

Author's Address

Andrew G. Malis
Verizon Communications
117 West St.
Waltham, MA 02451