[cabfpub] IPR policy and authorial intent

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Tue Nov 8 18:28:11 UTC 2016

On Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 10:21 AM, Gervase Markham <gerv at mozilla.org> wrote:

> On 08/11/16 18:10, Ryan Sleevi wrote:
> > Can you point me to the ballot or bylaw that guarantees this? Otherwise,
> > you're taking a gamble that everyone will behave rationally - which,
> > from a legal perspective, is like playing Russian Roulette with 6
> > bullets in the chamber.
> Well, if you vote No on a ballot, and I do, there's a fairly reasonable
> chance it'll fail. If we can get Jody on board with this plan, it's a
> certainty. So if others act irrationally, we can just agree publicly (in
> writing if necessary) that we won't support any further ballots beyond
> those necessary to fix the IPR situation for the current documents, and
> if people propose them anyway, companies can then ignore the "fishing"
> IPR reviews.

So you're asking Google to entrust its entire IP catalog with you
personally, on the basis that you'll vote no and thus not trigger any RF
obligations that might be incurred if we don't treat every "pre-"ballot, as
Position 1 poses, as needing an IP review?

I'm sure you can see why that's not exactly comforting. And should
Opera/Qihoo/Apple vote in favor, what assurances then? It's particularly
compelling because there's no reason, other than professional respect, to
prevent members from voting Yes to adopt a Final Guideline which contains a
number of a members Essential Claims, so long as their Essential Claims
weren't included or if they don't have IP.

And what about for CAs - particularly those with, as Peter pointed out,
substantial investment structures. Should all of them rely on the good
faith that Mozilla and Google will do the right thing?

This is why we need a ballot - it's an unacceptable risk to the existence
of the Forum to suggest that gentleman's agreements will provide legal
defense, and that no one would be incentivized to act improper.
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