Re: ISO turns evil?
David Carlisle wrote: >It appears that it's not just a warning on a website, but that ANSI is >already trying to collect money for the use of these things. > >Google turned up: > >http://www.ncits.org/archive/2003/in030467/in030467.htm > > I think David is confusing two different matters. *Publishing* the ISO country codes and language codes has always required ISO permission. When I made my book, the XML & SGML Cookbook, I sought out permission to include them. As part of publishing them, I agreed to include notes about the official versions' locations and the registration authorities. Other authors should have done the same. This is an issue of copyright, and every country has different laws on whether a version sorted differently or annotated with different material overcomes that copyright (someone with more legal interest than me can say what the status of the US law is, following the telephone directory case, etc.) Oracle's letter seems to be about this. *Using* the ISO codes in a programming language has never required permission, because it involves such a difference in form, and perhaps because a compiled program may not be publishing in the same way. You can see the same with ISO 8879: you cannot publish you own version (more's the shame) but you can implement it and use it. On the other hand, the ISO standard text public text entities for special characters, which are designed to be used as text and published and used by other people, have a copyright notice that specifically allows use. This is not really different from W3C. The ANSI letter quoted says "We make a distinction between implementation and commercial use" however, the wording of the ISO website and the letter are not clear enough to calm fears that they want to creep up "commerical use" to include implementation. Note that ISO is specific about which uses they regard as licenseable: where the software "loads a list of ISO codes". Now this has always, in the past, meant that if you provide a text list copied from ISO that users can access, there is a copyright issue, however if the codes are incorporated into source code and not visible to users as that text list, it is not a copyright issue. It would be a terrible fraud for ISO to suddenly pupport charge license for the *use* of codes; it really doesn't make any sense on any level to me, and it would substantially damage ISO's reputation and the fortunes of other standards. The ISO brass need to make crystal clear that use of an ISO Standard code list in compiled form (or displayed in a list in a GUI) is an "internal use". (Remember, non-commercial use is not in question here, so Free software developers are immune to problems here.) Anyone with any gossip about this, please feel free to email me privately to fill me in. Is it scamming SCO-ism, or some funding ambit, or what? I believe some of the ISO codes come originally from UN lists, another reason it is hard to give ISO much credence here. In any case, any licensing creep to include use compiled into software (if that is indeed the issue here) should be resisted strongly. Cheers Rick Jelliffe
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