[Standards] XSF Patent and Copyright Policy

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at stpeter.im
Thu Mar 11 00:32:02 UTC 2010


I've become concerned about the possibility that our open protocols
could be polluted by accepting technical contributions (such as mailing
list posts or bug reports) from people who might later claim that their
contributions are copyrighted or patented.

The IETF avoids this problem through their "note well" statement
<http://www.ietf.org/about/note-well.html>, which is presented to all
list subscribers, referenced at the beginning of every face-to-face
meeting, etc. To protect the XMPP ecosystem, I think we need a similar
warning about participation in the XSF's standards process.

Therefore, I have done the following:

1. Reformatted the XSF's IPR Policy in XEP format, which I am assuming
will be published as XEP-0280:

   http://xmpp.org/extensions/inbox/copyright.html

2. Clarified the difference between a Contribution (any communication in
an XSF venue or to an official XSF representative) and a Submission
(ProtoXEP).

3. Clarified the disclosure rules on Submissions.

4. Fixed up some other small matters in the text.

5. Defined a warning that we can provide to mailing list subscribers, in
chatroom subjects, on websites, and at face-to-face meetings.

The warning I have drafted (and this is only a draft) reads as follows:

"This [list|chatroom|website|event] is an official venue of the XMPP
Standards Foundation (XSF) and the XSF considers any statement made in
this venue to be a contribution to the XSF standards process. By
participating in this venue, you agree that your contributions can be
incorporated into XSF specifications and copyrighted by the XSF in
accordance with the XSF's Patent and Copyright Policy as defined by
XEP-0280."

That is short enough to recite at the beginning of an XMPP Summit
meeting, include in a chatroom subject (maybe), place in the footer of
all XSF mailing list posts, etc.

(We might even add another sentence at the end: "If you do not agree
with these terms, do not make any contributions in this venue.")

Please carefully review http://xmpp.org/extensions/inbox/copyright.html
and post to the standards at xmpp.org list by March 26, 2010, if you have
feedback, questions, or concerns about this matter. After the comment
period is ended and feedback has been incorporated, I plan to ask the
XSF Board of Directors to approve of publication of this document as the
official XSF policy on contributions and submissions to the XSF's
standards process.

Peter

--
Peter Saint-Andre
https://stpeter.im/


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