Sentiment about engaging with the EEA and corporate members

Background: I have been on several calls with EEA reps for the community discussion w/ the Herders and Magicians as the EEA updates its roadmap and begins to “go to mainnet”. This is a big strategic shift for them.

:eyes: This discussion will at the Devcon venue on Day 1 / Tues / Oct 8 at 10:00am. :eyes:

The EF officially joining the EEA actually has big implications in the community. This is because EF dev and research teams now (I believe) potentially have access to the EEA’s “members-only” specifications and communications. Possibly more teams (and collections of teams) will join in as well, leading to much wider participation with EEA members and EEA projects.

So what I want to understand is the overall sentiment about working with corporate teams and the EEA. Also, views about the legal aspect of working within EEA projects, which maintains certain legal restrictions around the specs and comms in order to build the intellectual property and to protect the property from patent trolls.

Are there reasons to avoid looking at these specs, or engaging with EEA corporate members? I will currently hold my own beliefs about this to myself because I want to understand what others think.

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Not the biggest fan of building intellectual property, but in general I’m very happy to see EEA and corporate members go to mainnet and engage more with the different Ethereum communities. I don’t think there’s any reason to not engage with them.

A little point of clarification if I may… all EEA specs are freely and openly published. You can get the latest versions here. You want to use the spec to build code, feel free! There are only three things that are controlled.

First, you must be a member to contribute. This protects everyone against material getting into the specs that might serve as grounds for a patent troll to press claims somewhere down the road.

Second, only members see what’s going on in the specs until they are published. This does give members a point in time advantage but, again, once the specs are published they are available to everyone. And since we currently publish on a six-month cycle, that’s a pretty short advantage!

Third, and this is really important, even if you build to the EEA specs your product cannot make any claims of being EEA-compliant or EEA-certified unless you are a member and your product has passed independent certification testing. This is what gives consumers confidence in the ecosystem and helps drive a greater level of Ethereum use for all.

It’s in everyone’s best interest to ensure that the specs are the best that they can be. We’ll be around to discuss all this at Devcon!

Oh and most EEA members are not exactly what you’d consider corporate. Most members have less than 3000 employees, many far less than that, and all have an equal voice in moving the specs forward.

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Thanks Paul, these are all great points and clarifications. I learn more every day!

One important point w.r.t. this is that there is a mainnet spec, the yellow paper, and the way to test compliance against that spec is to sync to mainnet.

While additional/peripheral specifications may be helpful, the Ethereum specification should remain in fully the public domain, open to all to contribute. I doubt the community would accept any other model.

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