IFX Mail Archive: IFX> Resolving the "TIFF Issue"

IFX Mail Archive: IFX> Resolving the "TIFF Issue"

IFX> Resolving the "TIFF Issue"

From: Scott Foshee (sfoshee@adobe.com)
Date: Tue Sep 25 2001 - 19:30:35 EDT

  • Next message: Scott Foshee: "IFX> TIFF use within IEEE standards / Lack of license"

    Greetings all,

    Since Adobe has not been participating in the IETF's Internet fax
    working group...and has served primarily as a provider technology to
    the working group since the spring of 98....I have chosen to let this
    discussion mostly run its course. However, it seems some important
    discussion points are drifting out of focus and I feel compelled to
    re-state them.

    1. It is important to distinguish between two issues (per the IAB
    chair's presentation in London): interoperability and IP. It is my
    understanding that the primary reason the WG in London chose to scale
    things back was interoperability. I refer you to his briefing for
    his rational, but I understand it to be based on general IETF
    interoperability principles and specific IETF WG goals for TIFF FX
    that resulted in the selection of TIFF as the basis for work. Adobe
    is not the cause of this decision or action, although we support it.
    Adobe's IP issue was specifically not addressed. The implementation
    of the London WG decision has the side effect of mostly avoiding the
    IP issue (deferred until the remaining functionality of TIFF FX is
    investigated). It is my understanding the the IAB, IESG, and working
    group chairs want us to evaluate this decision primarily on
    interoperability grounds. My impression from the London WG meeting
    is that they support the London decision.

    2. If the Internet fax working group implements the recommendations
    of the London meeting (focusing on the immediate progression of
    mostly of S/F), this "interoperability choice" would mostly avoid the
    IP issue. The Adobe IP issue remains significant for all other
    profiles of TIFF FX, and the working group implicitly considers these
    issues when it considers progression of those profiles.

    3. It has been emphasized to me that the IETF as an organization
    does not make statements nor take positions regarding the IP claims
    of companies. However, it is certainly true that the
    members/companies of the working group are making decisions regarding
    what technologies to include in TIFF FX and are making decisions
    regarding implementation of TIFF FX by their companies given (1) our
    original license, (2) our communication with IETF editors, and (3)
    our communication with the IESG and IAB. Adobe continues to indicate
    that TIFF FX is outside the scope of our license grant. The IETF is
    deferring a position on this to the membership/implementing companies
    and whatever process they use to evaluate IP and licenses.

    4. Finally, a bit of history (in response to an e-mail that asked
    how we got here). Adobe provided a license to the IETF and ITU in
    9/97 for the use of TIFF as the basis for the interchange of FAX data
    on the Internet. The 3/98 draft of TIFF FX presumed the publication
    of TIFF 7 with certain content which was never incorporated into
    TIFF. TIFF FX was progressed despite this disconnect... and despite
    repeated Adobe/IETF editor (Xerox) discussions that inclusion of
    these features were not certain....and thus TIFF FX was left outside
    the scope of the Adobe license. Other than cautioning the editors,
    Adobe has not participated in the working group since the beginning
    of 98. When the editors progressed the document despite objections,
    we elevated objections to IETF management last December and the IAB
    this Spring. The listed Adobe editor has not reviewed the document
    since prior to the 3/98 publication and recently asked that his name
    be removed from the latest version (it has yet to be removed by the
    continuing editors). Early this year Adobe provided the IETF, at the
    WG chairs request, a formal process by which any third party can
    request content in the next version of TIFF. We have yet to receive
    any requests via this procedure for us to incorporate the
    presumed/missing content into TIFF.

          Note that:
          TIFF 6 is available on our web site.
          Our license is available on the IETF and ITU web sites.
          Our December 2000 e-mail should be available from the IETF.
          Our process should be available from the WG chairs.

    In close, I think the London proposal is a good way to move things
    forward fast. While splitting the document has disadvantages, it
    would allow rapid progression of the parts that are interoperable
    with existing TIFF (but non-TIFF FX specific) readers. The
    alternative leaves the IETF and anyone who wishes to implement TIFF
    FX with a candidate TIFF FX specification that Adobe has identified
    as being a use of TIFF that is outside the scope of the 9/97 license
    grant to the IETF.

    Adobe is committed to a timely review of any requests for changes to
    TIFF and is committed to working with the IETF to ensure a TIFF
    standard that is interoperable.

    Regards,

    Scott



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