[cabfpub] Reposting on behalf of others

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Mon Mar 2 18:05:10 UTC 2015

On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 9:56 AM, kirk_hall at trendmicro.com <
kirk_hall at trendmicro.com> wrote:

>  I have never understood the “IPR issues” or their dangers in the Forum
>  – I think they are fanciful when it comes to hearing from people not
> connected with a Forum member.
> I guess I can understand concern about letting a Member propose some new
> requirement for adoption while secretly holding a patent, then springing it
> on the Members after the requirement is adopted.  Hasn’t happened yet, but
> I suppose it could.
> But where is the threat when a knowledgeable member of the public posts a
> thoughtful, useful response to the Forum, and the information is reposted
> to the world because of its usefulness?  Even if the person has secret
> patents (pretty unlikely), it’s up to all of us to evaluate the information
> and move forward, or not.  And then if this outside person springs a hidden
> patent on us, we can just delete any requirement we adopted.

Except our Bylaws are, hopefully, designed to eliminate capriciousness and
personal taste.

For example, what if Adrien held some sort of patent or IPR on the use of
keys greater than 1024-bits as part of distributed hash trees? Or on
schemes for shortening long strings of a particular length into shorter
strings (say, SHA-2 vs SHA-1)

Do I think this is fanciful? Yes. However, it's precisely why you setup
policies and procedures, and then follow those policies and procedures, so
that you don't have to run such hypotheticals every time.

> In any case, when you and Gerv argue for more openness (like letting
> anyone post to some list-serv), what do you have in mind?  Requiring an IPR
> agreement?  No agreement?  Just an acknowledgment that there is no
> protection for any ideas posted (I’m good with that one).  If I understand
> correctly, there is no IPR agreement for posting by the public to any
> Mozilla list or Google list, correct?
> I’d be happy with establishing a separate CABF list-serv where anyone can
> post (maybe with a one-time click-through that warns people that ideas they
> post may become public property).  I think it should be kept separate from
> the Public list-serv just so that postings by members can be found in one
> place and are not be mixed up with public postings.
> In the meantime, I see reposting valuable information to the Public list a
> very useful thing.

I don't disagree that it's useful. My question is whether it is consistent
with our bylaws. If it isn't, then regardless of how useful it is, it
shouldn't be done until we fix our bylaws.
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