[cabf_governance] Who Must Sign the IPR?

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Thu Jun 14 09:11:11 MST 2018

(I'm not sure if I have posting rights on govreform, so this may only go to
the named parties)

Thanks for this summary Ben. To capture the other part of the F2F
discussion and this and the previous call, it sounds like there's two
separate-but-highly-related challenges.

First is confusion about who must sign the IPR, whether participating as an
Interested Party, an Associate Member, or a full Forum member. Examples of
this confusion have manifest in several discussions, in which some members
expressed confusion as to how to best handle it, such as:
- For interested parties, whether an individual signature is sufficient or
whether that individuals employer(s) must also sign
- For associate members, the process for waiving the IPR agreement, as
covered in Section 3.1 of the Bylaws
- For associate members, how to handle various industry groups, such as:
  - CPA Canada's WebTrust TF, which is comprised of volunteers from firms
such as KPMG, Deloitte, and BDO, but also has representatives from CPA
Canada itself
  - ACAB-c, which has a number of European conformance assessment bodies
(auditors) and European CAs (which themselves may be members of the Forum)
  - ETSI, which is comprised of Member Organizations that may meet any of
our other definitions, and which may have individuals that are employed by
ETSI member organizations, but are not representing their Member

Second, there is confusion about the nature and scope of participation in
CA/Browser Forum calls and F2Fs. This confusion roughly follows the
examples illustrated above, but to more firmly document.
  - WebTrust is administered by CPA Canada, and thus we'd expect CPA Canada
employees and consultants to be able to participate (e.g. Don Sheehy, Gord
Beal). However, the Task Force is made up of volunteers from auditing
firms, and whether or not the recognition of AM also extends to those
members and their employees. Jeff Ward, as Chair of the TF, while employed
by BDO, has been a steady participant in Forum F2F, but whether this
invitation extends to the entire TF, or their member organizations, was a
point of confusion.
  - ACAB-c is an organization made up of many European TSPs and CABs. Does
recognition of ACAB-c as an Associate Member extend invitations to all of
these organizations, and their employees, to also participate in the F2F
  - ETSI, as a member organization, is made up of a large number of
members. Does invitation only extend to those employeed directly by ETSI,
or does it also include those who participate in or lead the various focus
groups within ETSI?

Note that there was a separate discussion on that second point related to
Members (such as whether any employee of an organization can be in charge
of voting or participate in Forum F2F, or whether there should be a notion
of designated representatives), but that's not nearly as urgent or pressing
as these above matters are.

My hope is that through discussion in the Governance Reform WG and
telecons, there can be a mutually agreed upon and documented understanding
as to:
- A common understanding of the 'complex' cases (the above may be woefully
- Who signs the IPR Agreements for these complex cases
- What concerns, if any, exist with those guidelines by the member
organizations (e.g. concerns of Proviti / US Government, or of ETSI and its
- Agreement on the process and procedures for any exceptions that might be
granted under the Bylaws Section 3.1, such as:
  - The chair decides
  - Assent on a meeting (F2F or telecon), the same as done for members that
meet the requirements
  - Full Forum votes

Hopefully that accurately and appropriately captures the discussions to
date, in order to frame possible work items.

On Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 11:46 AM, Ben Wilson <ben.wilson at digicert.com>

> Group,
> An issue from the London face-to-face meeting resurfaced today on the CABF
> call.  That is, who must sign the IPR agreement?  I believe that many
> members of the CABF would like a recommendation from this working group.
> I think it has been pretty clear, at least in practice, that someone with
> authority for an organization that is a member must sign the IPR
> agreement.  For Interested Parties who are individuals, their signature on
> the IPR Agreement is pretty straightforward.  But things get a little fuzzy
> when we deal with other scenarios.  The most unclear situation is when we
> are dealing with associations of other organizations and individuals – viz.
> ETSI and WebTrust who send representatives to  our meetings.  Another
> example is where an entity appoints another entity as its agent (recognized
> representative) for discussions/votes.  For this latter situation, a side
> issue is what should we require as evidence of the agency relationship.
> Cheers,
> Ben
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