[cabfpub] Pre-Ballot 206 - Amendment to IPR Policy & Bylaws re Working Group Formation

Wayne Thayer wthayer at mozilla.com
Fri Jan 19 20:30:37 UTC 2018

On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 12:03 PM, Virginia Fournier via Public <
public at cabforum.org> wrote:

> Yes, a Working Group can form its own subcommittees within itself.

I don't think this statement is obviously true.  The current bylaws define
these "subcommittees" (called Working Groups) - the new bylaws do not. So
one reasonable interpretation is that they can no longer exist. For
example, if we go to appoint a chair and create a mailing list for a new
"subcommittee", what are the odds that someone will say "you can't do that
- there is no such thing as a subcommittee and what you're really doing is
creating a new WG without following the process?"

Someone asked whether all of the WGs would be subgroups under the Server
> Certificate WG - and that is clearly not the intent.
> The new bylaws imply that the existing WGs will become new WGs in section
5.3.4 - Legacy Working Groups. However some fundamental flaws have been
pointed out with this structure in the case where the WG's purpose involves
server certificates. To reiterate, if the Validation WG recharters under
the new bylaws, it will no longer be able to take its work product back to
the Server Certificate WG for review and approval.

Also, please note that the *same* Bylaws and IPR policy apply to all WGs.
> The structure is *intended to be different* from what we have now.  It
> needs to be different because right now IP commitments apply to all of the
> Forum’s activities.  Under the new structure, IP commitments will only
> apply to the WGs in which a member is participating - this necessarily
> makes the structure more complex.
> Yes, the structure is intended to be different to address IP issues, but I
suspect the assumption has been made that the existing "subcommittee"
system can continue under the new structure without exploring all of the

Someone also commented that we can all ask multiple questions and make
> additional changes during the discussion period.  I’m at a complete loss as
> to why questions haven’t already been asked and comments not already made.
> As you are all aware, we’ve been working on and discussing all of these
> documents *for well over a year*. Please *engage in the process now*,
> read the documents, and ask questions and make comments now, rather than
> holding up the voting period when we get there.
> I am asking for the Governance WG to explain what is going to happen with
each existing WG before we adopt the new bylaws. Given the concerns that
have been raised, I do not believe this is an unreasonable request.

> Best regards,
> Virginia Fournier
> Senior Standards Counsel
>  Apple Inc.
> ☏ 669-227-9595 <(669)%20227-9595>
> ✉︎ vmf at apple.com
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