[cabfpub] Ballot process proposal

Jeremy Rowley jeremy.rowley at digicert.com
Fri Nov 18 00:05:27 UTC 2016

I like the proposal and think Geoff's edits ensure there is still a role for the PAG. However, I'd suggest changing the process to the forum "may" hold another ballot after review by the PAG using the standard proposer plus two endorser approach. There isn’t a timeline for the PAG, and the Forum may move on using an alternate prior to the PAG completing its work. In that case, the ballot may no longer be relevant.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Public [mailto:public-bounces at cabforum.org] On Behalf Of Geoff Keating via Public
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2016 2:41 PM
To: CA/Browser Forum Public Discussion List <public at cabforum.org>
Cc: Geoff Keating <geoffk at apple.com>
Subject: Re: [cabfpub] Ballot process proposal

> On 17 Nov 2016, at 12:52 pm, Peter Bowen via Public <public at cabforum.org> wrote:
> Dear CA/Browser Forum colleagues,
> We have heard a number of concerns about the processes we have been using for ballots and how those processes interact with our IPR policy over the last few weeks.  It has been raised that we don't have a clearly spelled out process.  I've also heard members raise that they don't want to vote to approve something that could end up being adopted with exclusion notices applying.
> Therefore, Amazon proposes to modify our bylaws to reflect that the chair is responsible for approving Draft Guidelines to become Final Guidelines (FG) or Final Maintenance Guidelines (FMG). The chair may only approve by following the process below.
> 1) A ballot among members of the Forum must approve a motion to initiate the adoption process.
> - The ballot may be withdrawn during the review period
> - The ballot may receive small corrections during the review period
> - The ballot must indicate whether it is proposing a Final Guideline (FG) or Final Maintenance Guideline (FMG)
> - The ballot must include either:
>  a) the full text of a Draft Guideline proposed to become a FG or FMG, or
>  b) a set of changes relative to an existing approved FG or FMG
> 2) Within two business days of the announcement of the results of the ballot, if the ballot is valid and is adopted, the Chair shall initiate the Review Period described in the IPR policy.  The review period will be initiated by sending notice to both the Member Mail List and the Public Mail List.  The notice shall include the full text of the Draft Guideline.  If the ballot contained a set of changes relative to an existing FG or FMG, the Draft Guideline is formed by applying the changes to the existing approved FG or FMG.
> 3) At the end of the Review Period (either 30 or 60 calendar days), the Chair shall determine if any Exclusion Notices were received.  If no exclusion notices were received, the Chair shall approve the Draft Guideline, notify the Public Mail List of the Chair's approval, and update the Public Web Site list of FGs and FMGs with the new Guideline.  If exclusion notices were received, the Chair shall not approve adoption of the Draft Guideline, and shall notify the Public Mail List of the disapproval.
> This process ensures that there will never be a case where any member is voting on a guideline that will be adopted with exclusion notices.  It also optimizes to move voting early in the process so that the vast majority of ballots will pass and move to adoption at the end of the review period with no further action, based on the observed set of exclusion notices received upon adoption of IPR policy v1.2.

This is a good policy as far as it goes, but it seems to omit the role of the PAG, which might look at the exclusion notices and determine that they don’t really apply, are not significant for most members, or similar.  My suggestion would be to add:

4) If exclusion notices were received, a PAG shall be formed.  If it recommends approval despite the exclusion notices, then a second ballot (including review period, but no changes are allowed to the recommendation or the Draft Guideline in the review period) must be held to adopt the PAG’s recommendation.  If that second ballot passes, then the Chair shall approve the Draft Guideline, notify the Public Mail List of the Chair's approval, and update the Public Web Site list of FGs and FMGs with the new Guideline.

(There are other things the PAG might recommend, many of which also will turn into motions, but only this path allows something to be approved with exclusion notices.)

> I believe that adopting this process will only require modifying the bylaws, which we can do via vote, rather than require modifying the IPR policy and getting new IPR agreements from all members.

I agree.
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