[Iana-ipr] CWG Comments to IANA IPR License and Community Agreement

Alissa Cooper alissa at cooperw.in
Thu Jul 28 05:01:50 CEST 2016

Josh, all,

As Andrew previously noted, I am here participating on this list as an IETF community participant. I make my comments below with that hat on.

As an IETF community participant, I am concerned with a number of the changes proposed by the CWG, the sum of which appear to entirely subjugate the IETF Trust to the will of the CCG. As drafted in the original community agreement, the CCG was designed to be an advisory body to the IETF Trust. A number of changes suggested by the CWG (in 2.1, 3.1, 3.2c, 3.2d, 3.3, and 3.4 of the community agreement and 4.3 and 4.4 of the license agreement, at a minimum) change the CCG from an advisory body to a controlling one that directs the activities of the IETF Trust and prevents the IETF Trust from acting without the consent or approval of the CCG.

I do not believe that this reversal of roles is in the interest of the IETF community (or of the other operational communities, frankly). As we all know, the IETF Trust has a number of responsibilities, and protection of the IANA IPR would be one additional responsibility to add to its current list. If the CCG is empowered to control the activities of the IETF Trust to the extent contemplated by the changes listed above, even if only in the context of the IANA IPR, I would be very concerned about its ability, time, and resources left available to continue to carry out its existing responsibilities. Furthermore, since the same Trustees would be responsible for all of the IETF Trust’s work, exercise of the provision in 3.1 that puts the IETF Trust under the “oversight” of and “accountable to" the operational communities could put the Trust into conflict with its existing governing documents and oversight and accountability procedures.

More broadly, if it really is the intention of the CWG to subjugate the IETF Trust to the CCG in this way, I don’t see what the justification would be to have the IETF Trust involved with the IANA IPR at all. If all matters concerning the IANA IPR require the consent of the CCG (Sec. 3.1), what is the point of using the IETF Trust? It effectively becomes a pass-through for CCG decisions.

I believe the IETF community fully supports the notion of the CCG as an advisory body to the IETF Trust and recognizes that it is important for the IETF Trust to act in accordance with all three communities’ wishes. But if what the CWG wanted was for a body independent of the IETF Trust to control all decisions about the IANA IPR, it should have proposed the proper independent creation of such a body a long time ago. Contorting the CCG, a group that exists only by virtue of being defined in the community agreement, into an independent power base seems illegitimate from a governance perspective and is not in the interests of the IETF community. 

When the CWG agreed to the proposal from the numbers community to have the IANA IPR transferred to an entity independent of the IANA functions operator, CWG members’ concerns were focused on the “neutrality” of the entity. The changes listed above appear to be concerned with something else altogether — effectively rendering the IETF Trust an empty vessel to be controlled by the CCG.  


> On Jul 26, 2016, at 5:24 PM, Hofheimer, Joshua T. <jhofheimer at sidley.com> wrote:
> Thank you to all the participants on the IANA-IPR call earlier today.  Attached please find comments by the CWG to the IANA IPR License and the Community Agreement, clean and marked to show changes from the originals forwarded to CWG.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions and we look forward to our discussion next week.
> Best regards,
> Josh
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