XEP-xxxx: XSF Patent and Copyright Policy

Abstract:This document defines the XSF's official policy on patents and copyrights in submissions and contributions to the XSF standards process.
Author:Peter Saint-Andre
Copyright:© 1999 - 2010 XMPP Standards Foundation. SEE LEGAL NOTICES.
Status:ProtoXEP
Type:Procedural
Version:1.5rc2
Last Updated:in progress, last updated 2010-03-10

WARNING: This document has not yet been accepted for consideration or approved in any official manner by the XMPP Standards Foundation, and this document is not yet an XMPP Extension Protocol (XEP). If this document is accepted as a XEP by the XMPP Council, it will be published at <http://xmpp.org/extensions/> and announced on the <standards@xmpp.org> mailing list.


Table of Contents


1. Introduction
    1.1. History
    1.2. Purpose
2. Glossary
3. Terms of Contributing to the XSF's Standards Process
4. Terms of Submitting an XMPP Extension
    4.1. Ownership
    4.2. Acceptance and Approval of Extensions
    4.3. A Note about Private Extensions
5. Legal Notices
6. Acknowledgements

Appendices
    A: Document Information
    B: Author Information
    C: Legal Notices
    D: Relation to XMPP
    E: Discussion Venue
    F: Requirements Conformance
    G: Notes
    H: Revision History


1. Introduction

This document defines the official policy of the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF) regarding patents and copyrights in submissions and contributions to the XSF standards process.

1.1 History

XMPP protocols have been under development since 1998 and have been discussed and documented in public forums since January 1999 in the Jabber open-source projects that were a precursor to the XSF. Through force of history and activity since its founding in the summmer of 2001, the XSF has assumed responsibility for managing the evolution of the XMPP protocols in two ways:

  1. By working with the IETF to standardize the core protocols under the name Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP).
  2. By defining extensions to the core protocol in the XSF's XMPP Extension Protocols [1] (XEP) specification series.

Through this work, the XSF has in effect "homesteaded" the domain of XMPP Extensions and has acted as a trusted third party or "intellectual property conservancy" [2] to which new and established participants in the XMPP developer community have entrusted their XMPP Extensions.

1.2 Purpose

The XSF must ensure that submissions and contributions to the XSF standards process do not pollute the free and open nature of the protocols, while at the same time honoring the legitimate rights of any individual or organization to assert ownership over an implementation or deployment of XMPP or of any XMPP Extension. Preventing such pollution means that in perpetuity any entity may independently, and without payment or hindrance, create, use, sell, distribute, or dispose of implementations of XMPP and of any XMPP Extension. Such is the intent of this policy.

2. Glossary

XMPP
The core XML streaming, instant messaging, and presence protocols developed by the Jabber/XMPP developer community have been contributed by the XSF to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) under the name Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). XMPP is all and only these core protocols, as currently defined in XMPP Core [3] and XMPP IM [4].
XMPP Extension
An XMPP Extension is any specification approved by, or submitted for approval or consideration by, the XSF or its constituent committees (most particularly the XMPP Council [5]). Such a specification must exist in the form of an XMPP Extension Protocol (XEP) in order to be considered an official submission. (Also referred to as an Extension.)
Contribution
Any document, text, code, schema, example, bug report, feature request, or other communication provided as input to the XSF standards process by means of a public venue that is maintained by the XSF (such as a mailing list, chatroom, issue tracker, website, or in-person meeting) or directly to an authorized representative of the XSF (such as the XSF's Executive Director, the XMPP Extensions Editor, or a member of the XMPP Council or the XSF's Technical Review Team).
Submission
A Contribution consisting of an entire specification for an XMPP Extension.
Implementation
Any software program that implements the functionality defined in the core XMPP specifications or in XMPP Extension Protocols for the purpose of providing the functionality defined by the relevant specification(s).
Deployment
Any service deployed over a network that offers the capabilities defined in the core XMPP specifications or in XMPP Extension Protocols.
Claim
Any assertion of copyright or patent made by a party regarding a Submission or a Contribution. Trademarks are not addressed by this document and are not considered to be Claims as defined here.

3. Terms of Contributing to the XSF's Standards Process

In order to protect the open nature of technologies that are created in the XMPP developer community and standardized through the XMPP Standards Foundation, the XSF considers any input provided in an XSF-sponsored venue to be a Contribution. Therefore participants in all XSF venues -- including but not limited to email distribution lists, chatrooms, websites (e.g. wikis and issue trackers), and in-person meetings -- is provided with the following warning:

"This [list|chatroom|website|event] is an official venue of the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF) and the XSF considers any statement made in this venue to be a contribution to the XSF standards process. By participating in this venue, you agree that your contributions can be incorporated into XSF specifications and copyrighted by the XSF in accordance with the XSF's Patent and Copyright Policy as defined by XEP-0280."

This warning puts all participants on notice that they cannot insert their own proprietary information into XSF specifications and thereby subvert the XSF's open standards process.

4. Terms of Submitting an XMPP Extension

The XSF recognizes the possibility that the creator of an XMPP Extension might make a Claim regarding an XMPP Extension. Therefore, the XSF takes the following positions:

4.1 Ownership

By submitting an XMPP Extension for consideration by the XSF, the author of the Extension shall assign any ownership rights or other Claims asserted over the Extension itself to the XSF. This does not apply to Claims regarding any Implementations or Deployments of the Extension (such as copyright over the code of a particular implementation), but rather to the Extension itself as represented in a wire protocol or data format. Any documentation of the Extension (in the form of a XEP specification) shall be copyrighted by the XSF. Once an author assigns ownership to the XSF, the XSF shall in turn make the Extension available to all entities so that they may create, use, sell, distribute, or dispose of Implementations or Deployments of XMPP and all XMPP Extensions in perpetuity and without payment or hindrance.

4.2 Acceptance and Approval of Extensions

Individuals and organizations that make a Submission of an Extension for consideration by the XSF must dislose any Claims they have over Extension itself or Implementations and Deployments thereof, and must agree to assign all Claims over the Extension itself to the XSF. No Extension shall be accepted or approved by the XSF or its constituent committees if there are unassigned Claims to the Extension itself, or if there are any Claims over Implementations or Deployments thereof that would prevent perpetual, unrestricted, royalty-free use of the Extension in a compliant Implementation or Deployment by any interested party. If Claims preventing such use are discovered, the XSF shall immediately seek to replace the Extension with unencumbered protocols that may be implemented without condition by any entity.

4.3 A Note about Private Extensions

By its nature as XML, XMPP enables implementers to create their own private extensions to XMPP by means of custom XML namespaces. Such extensions may be kept private, and there is no compulsion for implementers to contribute such extensions to the XSF standards process. It is only when an implementer seeks to have an Extension standardized through the XSF standards process that ownership over such an Extension must be transferred to the XSF. If an implementer wishes to keep its extensions private, it can simply refrain from submitting them to the XSF. However, private extensions exist outside the boundaries of XMPP and approved XMPP Extensions and must not be considered or described as part of XMPP or XSF-approved XMPP Extensions.

5. Legal Notices

All XMPP Extension Protocol (XEP) specifications shall contain the following Legal Notices:

Copyright

This XMPP Extension Protocol is copyright (c) 1999 - 2010 by the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF).

Permissions

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this specification (the "Specification"), to make use of the Specification without restriction, including without limitation the rights to implement the Specification in a software program, deploy the Specification in a network service, and copy, modify, merge, publish, translate, distribute, sublicense, or sell copies of the Specification, and to permit persons to whom the Specification is furnished to do so, subject to the condition that the foregoing copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Specification. Unless separate permission is granted, modified works that are redistributed shall not contain misleading information regarding the authors, title, number, or publisher of the Specification, and shall not claim endorsement of the modified works by the authors, any organization or project to which the authors belong, or the XMPP Standards Foundation.

Disclaimer of Warranty

## NOTE WELL: This Specification is provided on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. In no event shall the XMPP Standards Foundation or the authors of this Specification be liable for any claim, damages, or other liability, whether in an action of contract, tort, or otherwise, arising from, out of, or in connection with the Specification or the implementation, deployment, or other use of the Specification. ##

Limitation of Liability

In no event and under no legal theory, whether in tort (including negligence), contract, or otherwise, unless required by applicable law (such as deliberate and grossly negligent acts) or agreed to in writing, shall the XMPP Standards Foundation or any author of this Specification be liable for damages, including any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character arising out of the use or inability to use the Specification (including but not limited to damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all other commercial damages or losses), even if the XMPP Standards Foundation or such author has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

Copyright Conformance

This XMPP Extension Protocol has been contributed in full conformance with the XSF's Copyright Policy (a copy of which can be found at <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0280.html> or obtained by writing to XSF, 1899 Wynkoop Street, Suite 600, Denver, CO 80202 USA).

6. Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Lawrence Lessig and Molly van Houweling for their assistance in formulating this policy.


Appendices


Appendix A: Document Information

Series: XEP
Number: xxxx
Publisher: XMPP Standards Foundation
Status: ProtoXEP
Type: Procedural
Version: 1.5rc2
Last Updated: in progress, last updated 2010-03-10
Approving Body: XSF Board of Directors
Dependencies: None
Supersedes: None
Superseded By: None
Short Name: N/A


Appendix B: Author Information

Peter Saint-Andre

Email: stpeter@jabber.org
JabberID: stpeter@jabber.org
URI: https://stpeter.im/


Appendix C: Legal Notices

Copyright

This XMPP Extension Protocol is copyright © 1999 - 2010 by the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF).

Permissions

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this specification (the "Specification"), to make use of the Specification without restriction, including without limitation the rights to implement the Specification in a software program, deploy the Specification in a network service, and copy, modify, merge, publish, translate, distribute, sublicense, or sell copies of the Specification, and to permit persons to whom the Specification is furnished to do so, subject to the condition that the foregoing copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Specification. Unless separate permission is granted, modified works that are redistributed shall not contain misleading information regarding the authors, title, number, or publisher of the Specification, and shall not claim endorsement of the modified works by the authors, any organization or project to which the authors belong, or the XMPP Standards Foundation.

Disclaimer of Warranty

## NOTE WELL: This Specification is provided on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ##

Limitation of Liability

In no event and under no legal theory, whether in tort (including negligence), contract, or otherwise, unless required by applicable law (such as deliberate and grossly negligent acts) or agreed to in writing, shall the XMPP Standards Foundation or any author of this Specification be liable for damages, including any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character arising from, out of, or in connection with the Specification or the implementation, deployment, or other use of the Specification (including but not limited to damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all other commercial damages or losses), even if the XMPP Standards Foundation or such author has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

IPR Conformance

This XMPP Extension Protocol has been contributed in full conformance with the XSF's Intellectual Property Rights Policy (a copy of which can be found at <http://xmpp.org/extensions/ipr-policy.shtml> or obtained by writing to XMPP Standards Foundation, c/o Peter Saint-Andre, 1899 Wynkoop Street, Suite 600, Denver, CO 80202 USA).

Appendix D: Relation to XMPP

The Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is defined in the XMPP Core (RFC 3920) and XMPP IM (RFC 3921) specifications contributed by the XMPP Standards Foundation to the Internet Standards Process, which is managed by the Internet Engineering Task Force in accordance with RFC 2026. Any protocol defined in this document has been developed outside the Internet Standards Process and is to be understood as an extension to XMPP rather than as an evolution, development, or modification of XMPP itself.


Appendix E: Discussion Venue

The primary venue for discussion of XMPP Extension Protocols is the <standards@xmpp.org> discussion list.

Discussion by the membership of the XSF might also be appropriate (see <http://mail.jabber.org/mailman/listinfo/members> for details).

Errata can be sent to <editor@xmpp.org>.


Appendix F: Requirements Conformance

The following requirements keywords as used in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119: "MUST", "SHALL", "REQUIRED"; "MUST NOT", "SHALL NOT"; "SHOULD", "RECOMMENDED"; "SHOULD NOT", "NOT RECOMMENDED"; "MAY", "OPTIONAL".


Appendix G: Notes

1. XEP-0001: XMPP Extension Protocols <http://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0001.html>.

2. For information about intellectual property conservancies, see <http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Legal_Concepts#Intellectual_Property_Conservancies> as well as M. van Houweling, "Cultivating Open Information Platforms: A Land Trust Model", Journal of Telecommunications & High Technology Law 1, no. 1 (2002): 309-23.

3. RFC 3920: Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Core <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3920>.

4. RFC 3921: Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Instant Messaging and Presence <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3921>.

5. The XMPP Council is a technical steering committee, authorized by the XSF Board of Directors and elected by XSF members, that approves of new XMPP Extensions Protocols and oversees the XSF's standards process. For further information, see <http://xmpp.org/council/>.


Appendix H: Revision History

Note: Older versions of this specification might be available at http://xmpp.org/extensions/attic/

Version 1.5rc2 (in progress, last updated 2010-03-10)

Changed to XEP format; changed name from Intellectual Property Rights Policy to Patent and Copyright Policy; clarified the difference between a Contribution and a Submission; clarified disclosure rules on Submissions; clarified that trademarks are out of scope for this policy; added warning notice for sending to XSF mailing lists, posting in XSF chatrooms, and recitation at XSF events.

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Version 1.4 (2008-01-23)

Updated legal notices to use modified MIT License rather than Creative Commons Attribution License for the purpose of enabling wider distribution of XEP text and examples, including incorporation into free software; added Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability.

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Version 1.3 (2007-01-16)

Modified terminology to reflect organizational name change from Jabber Software Foundation (JSF) to XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF).

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Version 1.2 (2006-10-04)

Modified terminology to reflect protocol branding change from Jabber to XMPP (e.g., Jabber Enhancement Proposal to XMPP Extension Protocol).

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Version 1.1 (2005-10-04)

Replaced Open Publication License with Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Version 1.0 (2002-10-29)

Initial version approved by XSF Board of Directors.

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END