Re: [Internet-Drafts@ietf.org: I-D ACTION:draft-bradner-rfc-extracts-00.txt]
> 3.2.1. Confusion over what constitutes the standard
> It would clearly be confusing if someone could take an IETF standard
> such as RFC 3270 (MPLS Support of Differentiated Services), change a
> few key words and republish it, maybe in a textbook, as the
> definitive standards for MPLS Support of Differentiated Services.
Debian, at least, has no problem with a license requiring that a modified
standard not be misrepresented as the original. It is not confusing in
any way for me to take RFC 3270, change a few key words, and republish it,
as long as I don't call it RFC 3270.
Further, nothing prevents me from writing up my own bogus standard
and calling it "RFC 3270 (MPLS Support of Differentiated Services)";
since it's not a derivative work of the other RFC 3270, its copyright
license is irrelevant. (I believe the only possible protection against
this is trademarks.)
The fact that he's even presenting this tired old argument means that
either nobody is competently presenting the arguments for freeing of
standards documents, or the arguments aren't being heard ...
> IETF working groups undertake a great deal of effort to develop a
> common understanding of the underlying architectural assumptions of
> the standards they develop. Modifications or extensions to a
> standard done without an understanding of those architectural
> assumptions may easily introduce significant operational or security
> issues. The best place to extend a standard is in the working group
Preventing modifications to the standards document does nothing to
prevent this. You can still say "use RFC 1234, with the following
modifications ...", and just as easily cause trouble. This is not
a reason for standards documents to be non-free.
> 3.2.2. Cooperation between standards organizations
This essentially says "we want to prevent competition by making our
standards non-free", which is a central theme of non-free licenses.
> I do not buy the argument that the open source community requires the
> ability to make capricious changes in standards.
Here, he seems to misunderstand the notion of "required freedoms". We
don't require the ability to modify the standard in order to implement
it. We require the ability to modify the standard before considering
it a free document, just as we require the ability to modify a program
before considering it a free program.
Of course, Debian's notion of freedom has less weight here, because the
IETF probably doesn't really care whether Debian distributes the RFCs.
> The open source community does not have this ability with the output
> of other standards organizations, I do not see justification to say
> that its OK to do so for Internet technology. It seems to be
The standards of other organizations are also non-free; this merely
says "they're non-free, so we should be, too".
Sorry, Stephane, but all of this sounds more like a blunt refusal than