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Monday, July 11, 2005

Yahoo, Cisco Merge E-Mail Specs

In a rare display of industry cooperation, Yahoo and Cisco merged their e-mail authentication specification, officials announced.

The Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) specification is the combination of two related, competing, technologies: Yahoo’s Domain Keys and Cisco’s Identified Internet Mail (IIM).

While the two technologies are similar in concept in that they both use signature-based public key technology to authenticate e-mails, they had some hurdles to overcome before they could be merged.

Talks to get the specification approved as an Internet standard stalled last year in a working group following concerns over Microsoft’s licensing of the technology and the patents found in the technology.

Both Yahoo and Cisco had intellectual property rights attached to their individual technologies, though officials were unavailable at press time to say whether they remain in the combined technology.

It’s also uncertain what type of license will be attached to the technology, though Crocker said Yahoo has been working to make sure the license is compatible with the open source community.

Posted on 07/11