[tz] NIST leap-second file not yet updated

Russ Allbery eagle at eyrie.org
Thu Feb 18 02:29:12 UTC 2016

Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> writes:
> On 02/17/2016 04:16 PM, Tim Parenti wrote:

>> "This file is in the public domain and may be freely used for any
>> purpose."

> This sentence would also be fine.

There was some discussion of this in the past in the IETF, and a
consultation with ISOC legal counsel resulted in the recommendation of the
following text for people to put on RFCs if they didn't want to use the
regular copyright notice and wanted to grant freedom to change the file in
any way.  Here's the message that was sent to the FTP Extensions working
group at the time, which includes some additional context and the
recommended license text.  It's a single sentence, if a long one:

| The other issue is the document that you have posted to FTP Extensions.
| The legal counsel that we have been given indicates that the best way
| you can achieve your goal is to assert, in the draft boilerplate, that
| the document conforms to, or, the lawyer suggests, "is subject to", the
| provisions of RFC 2026 section 10. You may go further, if you wish, to
| immediately thereafter say
|      "In addition, the authors (on behalf of themselves and their
|      employers) hereby relinquish any claim to any copyright that they
|      may have in this work, whether granted under contract or by
|      operation of law or international treaty, and hereby commit to the
|      public, at large, that they shall not, at any time in the future,
|      seek to enforce any copyright in this work against any person or
|      entity, or prevent any person or entity from copying, publishing,
|      distributing or creating derivative works of this work."
| In doing this, you leave the ISOC copyright there, which asserts that
| the ISOC has your permission to publish the document in the RFC archive,
| and protects it from unauthorized modifications or claims. Doing so,
| according to our counsel '...is as close to a "contribution to the
| public" that we can get'.

My understanding of the legal mechanism behind this statement is that it
attempts to establish via estoppel the effect of public domain even in
legal regimes that don't have that concept.

Russ Allbery (eagle at eyrie.org)              <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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