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Re: Debian's Linux kernel continues to regress on freedom

[Ron Johnson]
> If O'Reilly wants to write a book on implementing smtp or dns they
> must get permission from the IETF?

Not if they either (1) do not quote the RFCs at all, beyond what is
permitted by fair use, or (2) reprint the RFC verbatim.  Those things
are permitted, and those are what O'Reilly would probably want.

What is not permitted is to create an email exchange protocol, or a
hierarchical name record infrastructure protocol, which is similar to
SMTP or DNS, and while doing so, use the appropriate RFCs as a starting
point for producing your spec.  (Note also that your new protocol
doesn't even have to be all that similar to SMTP or DNS for the ability
to cut and paste RFC text to be potentially useful to you.)

I mean, you can do that, but only if you're willing to participate in
the IETF standardization process.  Which, if you're just some random
company producing internal docs for an internal product, you probably
don't want.

Of course, you are free not to think Debian's required freedoms are
actually useful or reasonable.  That's nothing new; lots of people
don't see why it's useful to require source code for software, either.
Fact is, many of us _do_ think these freedoms are valuable, and we
don't like the idea of trying to define little special cases, like
"well, nobody would probably want to cut and paste things from an RFC
anyway, like they might from other documents".
Peter Samuelson | org-tld!p12n!peter | http://p12n.org/

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