Copyrights on WWW protocols?

Pat Ryan (
Fri, 3 Mar 1995 15:14:16 +0500

I'm in the process of writing a book for PTR Prentice-Hall
tentatively entitled "Programming the World Wide Web: Protocols and
Implementation". It's a book on how the Web actually works as opposed to
being another book on HTML or how to get on the Net.

I need to find out what, if any, copyrights exist on the protocol
documents archived at W3C. Specifically, I'm working the chapter on
HTTP/1.0 right now. I realize that the spec is an "Internet draft" and
subject to change without notice. During my examination of the protocol, I
need to copy certain descriptions almost word-for-word. My "value-added"
will be lots of examples and development of a mini HTTP server in Perl
(with apologies to Plexus). I'll also include some discussion of current
areas of active WWW research & development. Of course, I'll mention how
all these wonderful open standards came into being through the selfless
efforts of several individuals as well as the vigorous participation of the
USENET community.

Now, I certainly don't want to be accused of plagiarism or get my
tush dragged into court. At the very beginning of the chapter, I give
extensive credit to TBL as well as explain a little bit about the process
of Internet drafts, RFCs, etc.

Whom do I contact to find out what permissions I need? And while
I'm asking, who hold the copyrights on RFCs? Is it IETF? The individual

Thanks for any help you can offer.


                                                           patrick m. ryan
                                                    hughes stx corporation