Re: Seeking info on IEEE-1063 standard

Subject: Re: Seeking info on IEEE-1063 standard
From: Lisa Wright <liwright -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 15:44:05 -0700 (PDT)

Well, I'm going to argue this point a bit--particularly since I think it's applicable to a couple of requests to the list in recent weeks. The EITF drafts are subject to copyright. The issue is not so much whether it will benefit the person you sent it to, but whether you have a right to distribute it. I didn't see anything one way or the other about distribution in their copyright statement (RFT 3667); however, since many organizations that intend their documents to be freely distributed put that explicitly in their copyrights, I wouldn't assume that it's okay. I'm not saying it is or isn't, I'm just saying that it shouldn't be assumed.

I don't remember the circumstances under which the original poster made the request, but regardless of that, I *do* see a problem with a company wanting to use any product for which they are not willing to pay, especially if they are implying or overtly telling their employees to acquire someone else's intellectual property. I could argue that the employee *is* using it for personal gain, i.e., the employee is doing it in order to keep their job, potentially. If the manager or the employee discover that it is something for which the company charges, they are obligated, if they want to benefit from that product, to pay the charge as a cost of doing business.

If an employee of a public company is being encouraged, or coerced, into such behavior, that could be reported to the company's audit committee under the whistle-blower policy, which all public companies are required to have. If it's a privately held company, I'm not sure what the appropriate mechanism would be. Perhaps the board of directors. I've worked for companies before where people acquired publications or other property inappropriately, and it was always uncomfortable. If I were presented with the same situation in the future, I would definitely challenge the point. But heck, I'm older and more stubborn now, and I'm much more comfortable sticking to my guns.

<Reminder to the literally minded>I didn't say any of the above had *actually* happened. I am stating my opinion and raising additional points for consideration.</reminder>


-----Original Message-----
From: Bonnie Granat <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com>
Sent: Aug 12, 2004 11:37 AM
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Subject: Re: Seeking info on IEEE-1063 standard

Sandy Harris wrote:
> Bonnie Granat wrote:
>> The draft, as I understand it, was freely available on the Web before
>> the standard was issued. What is being distributed now is not the
>> final approved standard, but the draft. I didn't see a problem with
>> that, but perhaps I'm mistaken.
> I do see a problem. The boilerplate text for IETF Internet Drafts
> includes:
> Internet-Drafts are draft documents ...
> and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at
> any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
> material ...
> Anyone implementing a standard or seriously concerned about one should
> get a copy of the actual standard. That way, you have some hope of
> getting it right.

We agree entirely. This is a draft document; it is NOT the standard. I
have no clue what the actual standard is. But for an individual who is
interested in seeing the DRAFT document, looking at it seems fine. I do
not represent a company.

> In my view all standards should, like the IETF ones, be freely
> available. As I see it, groups like IEEE are being sleazy and greedy
> when they sell theirs. They do have other income sources such as
> membership dues and publication subscriptions.
> That said, any company that needs an IEEE standard should buy it.

I agree, but I cannot blame employees of companies that will not do so
from wanting to see what the draft for the standard was. They are not
using it for personal gain.

In short, I see nothing wrong with viewing a draft of a standard.


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