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Versions: 00 01 02 03

Network Working Group                                            D. Kohn
Internet-Draft                                          Skymoon Ventures
Updates: 2822 (if approved)                               March 27, 2003
Obsoletes: 1036 (if approved)
Expires: September 25, 2003


                          News Article Format
                     draft-kohn-news-article-03.txt

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that other
   groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at http://
   www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt.

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html.

   This Internet-Draft will expire on September 25, 2003.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003). All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document defines the format of network news articles.

   Network news articles resemble mail messages but are broadcast to
   potentially large audiences, using a flooding algorithm that
   propagates one copy to each interested host (or group thereof),
   typically stores only one copy per host, and does not require any
   central administration or systematic registration of interested
   users. Network news originated as the medium of communication for
   Usenet, circa 1980. Since then Usenet has grown explosively, and many
   Internet sites participate in it. In addition, the news technology is
   now in widespread use for other purposes, on the Internet and



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   elsewhere.

   This document defines the format of network news articles in the
   context of the Internet Message Format, and adds Multipurpose
   Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) support for multimedia and
   internationalized message bodies.

Table of Contents

   1.     Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   1.1    Scope  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   1.2    Requirements Notation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   1.3    Errata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   1.4    Syntax Notation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   1.5    Definitions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   1.6    Structure of This Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   2.     Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   2.1    Base . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   2.2    MIME Conformance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   2.3    Other MIME Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   3.     Headers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   3.1    New Internet Message Format Headers  . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   3.2    Mandatory Headers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   3.3    Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   3.4    Subject  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   3.5    Message-ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   3.6    News Headers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   3.6.1  Newsgroups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   3.6.2  Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   3.6.3  Followup-To  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   3.6.4  Expires  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   3.6.5  Control  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   3.6.6  Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   3.6.7  Summary  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   3.6.8  Approved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   3.6.9  Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   3.6.10 Xref . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   3.6.11 Supersedes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   3.7    Other Message Headers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   4.     Internationalization Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   5.     Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
          Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
          Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
          Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   A.     Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
          Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . .  18





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1. Introduction

1.1 Scope

   "Netnews" is a set of protocols for generating, storing and
   retrieving news "articles" (which use the Internet Message Format)
   and for exchanging them among a readership which is potentially
   widely distributed. It is organized around "newsgroups", with the
   expectation that each reader will be able to see all articles posted
   to each newsgroup in which she participates. These protocols most
   commonly use a flooding algorithm which propagates copies throughout
   a network of participating servers.  Typically, only one copy is
   stored per server, and each server makes it available on demand to
   readers able to access that server.

   This is the first of four documents that obsolete RFC 1036.  This
   document focuses on the syntax and semantics of network news
   articles.  [useprot] is also a standards-track document, and
   describes the protocol issues of network news articles, independent
   of transmission protocols such as NNTP [RFC0977] and IMAP [RFC3501].
   An informational document, [useimpl], describes implementation
   recommendations to improve interoperability and usability.  The
   fourth document, [useint], an experimental standard, specifies
   internationalization of message headers.

   The predecessor to this document [RFC1036] said that: "In any
   situation where this standard conflicts with the Internet [email
   standard, the latter] should be considered correct and this standard
   in error." The basic philosophy of this document follows that
   previous convention, so as to standardize news article syntax firmly
   in the context of Internet Message Format syntax.  In the context of
   the Internet messaging architecture, different protocols (such as
   IMAP, POP3 [RFC1939], NNTP and SMTP [RFC2821]) are seen as
   alternative ways of moving around the same content.  That content is
   the Internet Message Format as specified by [RFC2822], including
   optional enhancements such as MIME [RFC2049]. A user should be able
   to ingest an article via NNTP, read it via IMAP, forward it off to
   someone else via SMTP and have them read it via POP3 all without
   having to alter the content.

   This document uses a cite by reference methodology, rather than
   trying to repeat the contents of other standards, which could
   otherwise result in subtle differences and interoperability
   challenges.  Although this document is as a result rather short, it
   requires complete understanding and implementation of the normative
   references to be compliant.





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1.2 Requirements Notation

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

1.3 Errata

   The RFC Editor makes available errata for RFCs at [errata].
   Implementers should review that page for normative references, noting
   in particular that errata currently exist for [RFC2046].

1.4 Syntax Notation

   Headers defined in this specification use the Augmented Backus-Naur
   Form (ABNF) notation (including the Core Rules) specified in
   [RFC2234] and many constructs (specifically <date-time>,
   <mailbox-list>, <obs-zone>, and <unstructured>) defined in [RFC2822].
   Section 3.5 updates the [RFC2822] definition of <msg-id>.

1.5 Definitions

   Add definitions here for at least article, user agent, injector,
   moderator, server, and gateway.  Agent refers generically to all
   roles.

1.6 Structure of This Document

   Section 2 defines the format of news articles. Section 3 defines some
   additional headers necessary for the netnews environment.





















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2. Format

2.1 Base

   News articles MUST conform to the "legal to generate syntax"
   specified in Section 3 of [RFC2822]. News agents SHOULD also support
   the obsolete syntax specified in Section 4 of [RFC2822], particularly
   to support old news messages and gatewayed obsolete mail messages,
   but they MUST NOT generate such syntax.

2.2 MIME Conformance

   User agents MUST meet the definition of MIME-conformance in
   [RFC2049].  This level of MIME Conformance provides support for
   internationalization and multimedia in message bodies, and for
   receipt (but not generation) of internationalized headers.
   Generation of internationalized message headers is specified by
   [useint].

2.3 Other MIME Support

   User agents conformant with this document SHOULD support receipt (and
   automatic reassembly) of message/partial MIME messages, as specified
   in Section 5.2.2 of [RFC2046] and MAY support generation of message/
   partial articles for excessively large articles.

   User agents SHOULD send regular paragraph text as "text/plain;
   format=flowed" as specified in [RFC2646] and SHOULD preserve flowed
   text (including quoting) when replying or forwarding, as described in
   that specification.

   User agents SHOULD support on receipt and MAY generate MIME extension
   header fields, including but not limited to Content-Disposition
   [RFC2183] and Content-Language [RFC3282].

















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3. Headers

3.1 New Internet Message Format Headers

   The following header fields extend the fields defined in section 3.6
   of [RFC2822] as follows:

   fields          =/ *( newsgroups /
                         path /
                         followup-to /
                         expires /
                         control /
                         distribution /
                         summary /
                         approved /
                         organization /
                         xref /
                         supersedes )

   Each of these headers may occur at most once in a news article.

3.2 Mandatory Headers

   Each news article conformant with this specification MUST have
   exactly one of each of the following headers: From, Subject,
   Message-ID, Date, Newsgroups, and Path.

   From is exactly as specified in Section 3.6.2 of [RFC2822]. Date and
   Subject are fully conformant with [RFC2822], though with extra detail
   in Section 3.3 and Section 3.4, respectively.

   In Section 3.5, this document updates the <msg-id> construct from
   [RFC2822] so as to ensure that Internet Message Format Message-IDs
   are usable in widely deployed news software.

   Following [RFC2822] syntax, the headers defined in this document do
   not require a space between the ":" and the field's contents. (E.g.,
   "Subject:Hello World" is acceptable, as opposed to requiring
   "Subject: Hello World".)  To be compliant with this specification,
   news agents MUST support 0 or more spaces between the colon and the
   field's contents.  However, to maximize compatibility with the
   installed base of news agents, implementers SHOULD use exactly one
   space.

3.3 Date

   The Date header is the same as that specified in Sections 3.3 and
   3.6.1 of [RFC2822].  However, the use of "GMT" as a time zone, which



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   is part of <obs-zone>, is widespread in news articles today.
   Therefore, agents MUST accept, but MUST NOT generate, <date-time>
   constructs where <obs-zone>="GMT". (As stated in Section 2.1, support
   for <obs-zone> would otherwise have been SHOULD accept, MUST NOT
   generate.) Note that these requirements apply wherever <date-time> is
   used, including Expires in Section 3.6.4.


3.4 Subject

   The Subject header contains a short string identifying the topic of
   the message. Section 3.6.5 of [RFC2822] says:

      When used in a reply, the field body MAY start with the string
      "Re: " (from the Latin "res", in the matter of) followed by the
      contents of the "Subject:" field body of the original message.  If
      this is done, only one instance of the literal string "Re: " ought
      to be used since use of other strings or more than one instance
      can lead to undesirable consequences.

   Because of the importance of threading in news, that MAY is amplified
   to a SHOULD: Follow-ups to an article SHOULD begin with the subject
   "Re: " followed by the original subject of the referenced article
   (with that original subject stripped of any starting "Re: ").

   User agents MAY remove strings that are known to be used erroneously
   as back-reference (such as "Re(2): ", "Re:", "RE: ", or "Sv: ") from
   the beginning of the Subject field body when composing the subject of
   a followup, and add a correct back-reference in front of the result.

   User agents replying to a message MUST NOT use any other string
   except "Re: " as a back reference. Specifically, a translation of
   "Re: " into a local language or usage MUST NOT be used.

   User agents MAY present to the user a translation of "Re: ", but this
   MUST only be an artifact of the user interface and MUST NOT be part
   of the actual news article.

3.5 Message-ID

   The "Message-ID:" field contains a single unique message identifier.
   This is the only header field definition that updates [RFC2822].  The
   ABNF should be used as below, but the requirements and descriptive
   text from Section 3.6.4 of [RFC2822] still apply.







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   message-id      =  "Message-ID:" msg-id CRLF

   msg-id          =  [CFWS] msg-id-core [CFWS]

   msg-id-core     =  "<" id-left "@" id-right ">"
                      ; maximum length is 250 octets

   id-left         =  dot-atom-text / no-fold-quote / obs-id-left

   id-right        =  dot-atom-text / no-fold-literal / obs-id-right

   no-fold-quote   =  DQUOTE *( qtext / no-space-qp ) DQUOTE

   no-fold-literal =  "[" *( htext / no-space-qp ) "]"

   no-space-qp     =  ( "\" ptext ) / obs-qp

   ptext           =  %d33-61 /  ; Printable characters excluding ">"
                      %d63-126 /
                      obs-text

   htext           =  HEXDIG /  ; hexadecimal digits, case-insensitive
                      "." /     ; IPv4 separator
                      ":"       ; IPv6 separator

   Although compliant agents MUST support [CFWS] between the
   "Message-ID:" and the <msg-id-core>, implementers SHOULD generate
   exactly one space there, to maximize compatibility with the installed
   base.

   Note that this updated ABNF applies wherever <msg-id> is used,
   including the In-Reply-To and References headers mentioned in Section
   3.7.

3.6 News Headers

3.6.1 Newsgroups

   The Newsgroups header specifies to which newsgroup(s) the article is
   posted.











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   newsgroups      =  "Newsgroups:" newsgroup-list CRLF

   newsgroup-list  =  [FWS] newsgroup-name
                      *( "," [FWS] newsgroup-name ) [FWS]

   newsgroup-name  =  component *( "." component ) ; 71 character max

   component       =  plain-component

   plain-component =  component-start *29component-rest

   component-start =  ALPHA / DIGIT

   component-rest  =  ALPHA / DIGIT / "+" / "-" / "_"

   A newsgroup name consists of one or more components separated by
   periods, with no more than 71 characters total.  Each component
   consists of less than 30 or less letters and digits.

3.6.2 Path

   The Path header's content indicates which relayers the article has
   already visited, so that unnecessary redundant transmission can be
   avoided.

   path            =  "Path:" [FWS]
                      *( path-host [FWS] path-delimiter [FWS] )
                      path-host [FWS] CRLF

   path-host       =  ( ALPHA / DIGIT )
                      *( ALPHA / DIGIT / "-" / "." / ":" / "_" )

   path-delimiter  =  "!"

3.6.3 Followup-To

   The Followup-To header specifies to which newsgroup(s) followups
   should be posted.

   followup-to     =  "Followup-To:" ( newsgroup-list / poster-text )
                      CRLF

   poster-text     =  [FWS] %d112.111.115.116.101.114 [FWS]
                      ; "poster" in lower-case

   The syntax is the same as that of the Newsgroups content, with the
   exception that the magic word "poster" (which is always lowercase)
   means that followups should be mailed to the article's reply address



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   rather than posted.

3.6.4 Expires

   The Expires header specifies a date and time when the article is
   deemed to be no longer useful and could usefully be removed
   ("expired").

   expires         =  "Expires:" date-time CRLF

3.6.5 Control

   The Control header marks the article as a control message, and
   specifies the desired actions (additional to the usual ones of
   storing and/or relaying the article).  The verb indicates what action
   should be taken, and the argument(s) (if any) supply details. In some
   cases, the body of the article may also contain details. Control
   messages are further specified in the companion document, [useprot].

   control         =  "Control:" verb *( FWS argument ) CRLF

   An article with a Control header MUST NOT have a Supersedes header.

3.6.6 Distribution

   The Distribution header specifies geographic or organizational limits
   on an article's propagation.

   distribution    =  "Distribution:" dist-name *( "," dist-name ) CRLF

   dist-name       =  [FWS] ALPHA / DIGIT
                      *( ALPHA / DIGIT / "+" / "-" / "_" ) [FWS]

   "All" MUST NOT be used as a distribution-name.  Distribution-names
   SHOULD contain at least three characters, except when they are
   two-letter country names as in [ISO.3166.1988].  Distribution-names
   are case-insensitive (i.e. "US", "Us", "uS", and "us" all specify the
   same distribution).

3.6.7 Summary

   The Summary header is a short phrase summarizing the article's
   content.

   summary         =  "Summary:" unstructured CRLF






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3.6.8 Approved

   The Approved header indicates the mailing addresses (and possibly the
   full names) of the persons or entities approving the article for
   posting.

   approved        =  "Approved:" mailbox-list CRLF

3.6.9 Organization

   The Organization header is a short phrase identifying the poster's
   organization.

   organization    =  "Organization:" unstructured CRLF

   There is no "s" in Organization.

3.6.10 Xref

   The Xref header indicates where an article was filed by the last
   relayer to process it.

   xref            =  "Xref:" [CFWS] path-host
                      1*( CFWS location ) [CFWS]

   location        =  newsgroup-name ":" 1*16DIGIT

3.6.11 Supersedes

   The Supersedes header specifies articles to be cancelled.

   supersedes      =  "Supersedes:" 1*( [FWS] msg-id-core ) CRLF

   There is no "c" in Supersedes.

3.7 Other Message Headers

   The headers Reply-To, Sender, Comments, and Keywords are often used
   in news articles and have the identical meaning as that specified in
   [RFC2822].  References and In-Reply-To are also regularly used in
   news articles and have same the same meaning as that specified in
   [RFC2822], except that they use the updated <msg-id> construct
   defined in Section 3.5.








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4. Internationalization Considerations

   Internationalization of news article bodies is provided using MIME
   mechanisms in Section 2.2.  Generation of internationalized message
   headers is not specified in this document, and is instead specified
   in the experimental standard, [useint].













































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5. Security Considerations

   The news article format specified in this document does not provide
   any security services, such as confidentiality, authentication of
   sender, or non-forgery.  Instead, such services need to be layered
   above, using such protocols as S/MIME [RFC2633] or PGP/MIME
   [RFC3156], or below, using secure versions of news transport
   protocols.  Additionally, several currently non-standardized
   protocols [PGPVERIFY] will hopefully be standardized in the near
   future.

   Message-IDs (see Section 3.5) in news are required to be unique;
   articles are refused (in server-to-server transfer) if the ID has
   already been seen. So if you can predict the ID of a message, you can
   preempt it by posting a message (possibly to a quite different group)
   with the same ID, stopping your target message from propagating.
   Agents that generate message-ids for news articles SHOULD ensure that
   they are unpredictable.

































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Normative References

   [RFC2046]  Freed, N. and N. Borenstein, "Multipurpose Internet Mail
              Extensions (MIME) Part Two: Media Types", RFC 2046,
              November 1996.

   [RFC2049]  Freed, N. and N. Borenstein, "Multipurpose Internet Mail
              Extensions (MIME) Part Five: Conformance Criteria and
              Examples", RFC 2049, November 1996.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2183]  Troost, R., Dorner, S. and K. Moore, "Communicating
              Presentation Information in Internet Messages: The
              Content-Disposition Header Field", RFC 2183, August 1997.

   [RFC2234]  Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", RFC 2234, November 1997.

   [RFC2646]  Gellens, R., "The Text/Plain Format Parameter", RFC 2646,
              August 1999.

   [RFC2822]  Resnick, P., "Internet Message Format", RFC 2822, April
              2001.

   [RFC3282]  Alvestrand, H., "Content Language Headers", RFC 3282, May
              2002.























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Informative References

   [ISO.3166.1988]
              International Organization for Standardization, "Codes for
              the representation of names of countries, 3rd edition",
              ISO Standard 3166, August 1988.

   [PGPVERIFY]
              Lawrence, D., "PGPverify <ftp://ftp.isc.org/pub/
              pgpcontrol/README.html>", June 1999.

   [RFC0977]  Kantor, B. and P. Lapsley, "Network News Transfer
              Protocol", RFC 977, February 1986.

   [RFC1036]  Horton, M. and R. Adams, "Standard for interchange of
              USENET messages", RFC 1036, December 1987.

   [RFC1939]  Myers, J. and M. Rose, "Post Office Protocol - Version 3",
              STD 53, RFC 1939, May 1996.

   [RFC2633]  Ramsdell, B., "S/MIME Version 3 Message Specification",
              RFC 2633, June 1999.

   [RFC2821]  Klensin, J., "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol", RFC 2821,
              April 2001.

   [RFC3156]  Elkins, M., Del Torto, D., Levien, R. and T. Roessler,
              "MIME Security with OpenPGP", RFC 3156, August 2001.

   [RFC3501]  Crispin, M., "INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL - VERSION
              4rev1", RFC 3501, March 2003.

   [errata]   "RFC Editor Errata <http://www.rfc-editor.org/
              errata.html>".

   [useimpl]  "Usenet Implementation Recommendations (work in
              progress)".

   [useint]   "Usenet Internationalization (work in progress)".

   [useprot]  "Usenet Protocol (work in progress)".










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Author's Address

   Dan Kohn
   Skymoon Ventures
   3045 Park Boulevard
   Palo Alto, California  94306
   USA

   Phone: +1-650-327-2600
   EMail: dan@dankohn.com
   URI:   http://www.dankohn.com/








































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Appendix A. Acknowledgements

   Comments and/or text were provided by Mark Crispin, Claus Faerber,
   Ned Freed, Andrew Gierth, Tony Hansen, Paul Hoffman, Simon Josefsson,
   Bruce Lilly, Charles Lindsey, Ken Murchison, Pete Resnick, and Henry
   Spencer.













































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Intellectual Property Statement

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   intellectual property or other rights that might be claimed to
   pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
   this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
   might or might not be available; neither does it represent that it
   has made any effort to identify any such rights. Information on the
   IETF's procedures with respect to rights in standards-track and
   standards-related documentation can be found in BCP-11. Copies of
   claims of rights made available for publication and any assurances of
   licenses to be made available, or the result of an attempt made to
   obtain a general license or permission for the use of such
   proprietary rights by implementors or users of this specification can
   be obtained from the IETF Secretariat.

   The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
   copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
   rights which may cover technology that may be required to practice
   this standard. Please address the information to the IETF Executive
   Director.


Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003). All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
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Kohn                   Expires September 25, 2003              [Page 18]


Internet-Draft            News Article Format                 March 2003


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Acknowledgement

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Kohn                   Expires September 25, 2003              [Page 19]


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