[cabfpub] Creation of new IPR Policy Task Force / first meeting Nov. 29

Kirk Hall Kirk.Hall at entrustdatacard.com
Wed Nov 16 18:49:09 UTC 2016

Peter, your analysis is correct.

The last two teleconferences of the Forum have been dominated by the IPR Policy issue – so much so that other important items scheduled for discussion, such as CAA and CT, had to be postponed.  We heard on Thursday from the drafters of the IPR Policy as to the Forum’s drafting intent and how the IPR Policy should be interpreted, and there have been a number of suggestions for possibly changing the IPR Policy and/or Bylaws in the future.  So clearly there will be much more discussion to come.

In order to conduct the Forum’s regular business on its bi-weekly teleconferences and also address the open IPR Policy/Bylaws issues, we could expand the length of our regular bi-weekly Forum teleconferences from one hour to two hours, with the first hour devoted to regular Forum business and the second hour devoted to discussion of possible changes to the IPR Policy and/or Bylaws.  But most people would probably dislike two hour conference calls.

For this reason, and at Dean’s suggestion, we have set up a second bi-weekly teleconference for the whole Forum (called the IPR Policy Task Force to avoid confusion with our other bi-weekly Forum call), this one devoted solely to discussion of possible IPR Policy and/or Bylaws changes.  The meeting invitation was send to the entire Forum member list, and many have accepted for the first meeting on Nov. 29.  Because these are essentially supplementary meetings of all the Forum members, the meetings will effectively be a “Committee of the Whole” dedicated to working on a single complex issue.  This will help us get back to business at our regular Forum meetings.

From: Public [mailto:public-bounces at cabforum.org] On Behalf Of Peter Bowen via Public
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 7:51 PM
To: CA/Browser Forum Public Discussion List <public at cabforum.org>
Cc: Peter Bowen <pzb at amzn.com>
Subject: Re: [cabfpub] Creation of new IPR Policy Task Force / first meeting Nov. 29


I think the simple solution here is determine that this is not a Working Group nor PAG, rather it is a meeting of the Forum.  Any member can attend if they so wish and minutes can be kept.  This would mean there are not “chairs” of the group, rather the chair is asking someone to lead the discussion.

Do you believe that would fall within the bylaws?


On Nov 15, 2016, at 6:23 PM, Ryan Sleevi via Public <public at cabforum.org<mailto:public at cabforum.org>> wrote:


I hate to be a pedant on process, but I'm curious how this fits with our workmode on process and our bylaws. In particular, we have a PAG and we have Working Groups. Section 5.3 defines how Working Groups are convened:

Members may propose by ballot the appointment of Working Groups open to participation by Members and Interested Parties. The ballot shall outline the scope of the Working Group’s activities, including deliverables, any limitations, and Working Group expiration date.

Alternatively, a PAG may be convened as per the IPR Policy. Section 7.1 notes "A PAG may also be formed without such a disclosure if a PAG could help avoid anticipated patent problems. " If a PAG is being convened, "The PAG will be convened by a Chair who shall be elected by the PAG and who must not be affiliated with the company owning the Essential Claim that is the subject of the PAG"

Given all of the situation with following the bylaws, I do hope you appreciate the significance and seriousness of it. The precedent here - of creating Task Forces to deal with issues - calls into serious questions about the ability of the Forum to ensure IP is appropriately protected. For example, I would hope that before a single meeting is held, it be clarified how this Task Force fits within the obligations of the Bylaws and the IPR Policy. For example, Working Groups must have minutes. Members' activities are formally Contributions. These are important protections that would appear entirely unresolved.

I would like to specifically ask that you either put forward a Ballot to convene a Working Group - with defined deliverables - or state unambiguously that this is a PAG - in which case, the chair(s) must be elected by the PAG. However, neither of these workmodes, as defined in our Bylaws and IPR policy, are compatible with what you've proposed here. As we've seen, when work goes on without a charter and ballot - such as the Code Signing WG - this creates significant issues for the members, particularly around IP, so I do hope you will treat this with the utmost care.

On Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 6:07 PM, Kirk Hall via Public <public at cabforum.org<mailto:public at cabforum.org>> wrote:
We have had good discussions of outstanding IPR Policy issues on our CABF teleconferences, but it has taken a lot of time, and as a result we have not been able to discuss other issues.

On our most recent call on Nov. 10, Dean Coclin suggested we create an IPR Policy Committee (I’d rather call it a Task Force) to consider possible clarifications and/or revisions to our current IPR Policy and/or Bylaws, and others agreed.

I will shortly send a meeting invitation to the entire members list setting a time for this new IPR Policy Task Force.  Following discussion with Ben and Dean, it appears the best time to schedule this call is at the same time as the current Governance Change Working Group (Tuesdays at 9:00 am Pacific,12:00 Eastern, 5:00 pm London), but on opposite weeks.  That means the first call of the IPR Policy Task Force will be on November 29, and will recur every two weeks after that.

I’d like to ask Ben Wilson and Virginia Fournier to be the initial co-chairs for the first meeting, and to develop a meeting agenda with options for consideration.  The Task Force can choose other co-chairs at the first meeting if desired.  If you have suggestions for the first agenda, please email Ben and Virginia.

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