Thursday, June 22, 2006

syslog standardization brought to stop by patent claim

Hi folks,

long time no post, but now one is really due...

Let's wrap up: The IETF is trying to standardize and evolve the syslog protocol. Syslog is in wide-spread use for system and network monitoring, both in small and large-scale environments. Though widely used, it has never been standardized and is inherently insecure. The IETF syslog working group is trying to change this. During the work, a proposal for a (TLS) secured syslog protocol has been developed, a real group effort. This proposal reflects what already is done in practice (just google for "syslog ssl" and you see what I mean...).

Now, Huawei (the authors of the standard document belong to them) claims an undisclosed patent on this work. This in turn has lead to a standstil of the standardization effort plus a search for alternate, less efficient and more complex solutions to the problem.

The full story can be obtained from the working group's mailing list archive. It started with this message:

The discussion can be followed by reading the top half posts on this page:

Two of my favourite rants in the discussion are these:

Isn't that cool? It is a nice example of how useful that current software patent system really is.

Happy legalizing,

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