IFX Mail Archive: IFX> TIFF use issue

IFX Mail Archive: IFX> TIFF use issue

IFX> TIFF use issue

From: Scott Foshee (sfoshee@adobe.com)
Date: Wed Oct 24 2001 - 22:26:04 EDT

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    Dear Everyone,

    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.

    Sincerely,

    Scott Foshee



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