I appreciate everyone's desire to contribute to this discussion.
However, the central point from Adobe's perspective remains unchanged
and the same since September of 1997.
** Adobe desires to support the efforts of the IETF (and the ITU) in
their use of TIFF. As such, Adobe provided a limited use license for
TIFF in September of 1997 and has been in ongoing contact with the
IETF as primary developer of TIFF FX since that time. This license
grant is the only contribution by an officer of Adobe. It is Adobe's
continuing legal position that TIFF FX (RFC 2301) and all derivative
works are outside the scope of this license. Since the ITU has the
same license as the IETF, this would directly affect any ITU
re-publication of TIFF FX as well as other derivative works. This has
been communicated to the IETF editors throughout the process and to
senior IETF officers during the IETF last call process. Additionally,
the IEEE has been notified that they need a license to proceed with
standards based on TIFF or its derivatives.
It is our understanding that legal analysis and business discussions
are outside the scope of any technical standards organization. It is
the activity of the working group to make technical decisions while
considering legal issues, not to engage in legal activity as a body.
Thus, Adobe recommends that the IETF working group focus attention on
a discussion of TIFF FX development, but do so being fully aware that
legal issues are in contention. Adopters of TIFF FX implicitly
consider these same issues.
1. No amount of working group discussion or analysis can change
the terms and conditions of the written license granted 9/97.
2. Adobe will not participate in business discussions that
could be construed as being in conflict of anti-trust regulations.
3. It would seem that IETF officers have offered and/or
reiterated legal analysis and/or conclusions as the basis for working
group actions and/or progression of TIFF FX under RFC 2026. However,
this is often done concurrent with a statement that the IETF does not
take positions regarding IP.
4. Adobe understands official IETF policy to be that the IETF
declines to take a position regarding the IP content of its standards
and thus Adobe's license. Therefore, each participant and user of
TIFF FX is responsible for an independent legal evaluation and
decision despite any other action by the IETF or its officers.
Adobe continues to recommend a path forward that allows those parts
of TIFF FX that are in scope of Adobe's license to progress rapidly.
Alternatively and at the request of the committee, we have also
provided a process whereby the scope of the license could potentially
be expanded by adding scope to the underlying Adobe TIFF
specification. The working group has thus far declined to take
advantage of either. Additionally, we have offered to assist the
IEEE if they choose to seek a license to use TIFF. We have yet to be
contacted in this regard.
Adobe continues to be interested in working with the IETF and ITU to
bring their work into scope of our license, and with the IEEE in
their efforts to seek a license.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Oct 24 2001 - 22:29:56 EDT