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   RE: [xml-dev] ISO turns evil?

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Can anyone pontificate on the legal doctrine that could be used to enforce
such fees?

Copyright? Trademark? Trade secret???

I think a sprinkling of two or three-letter codes might have trouble
qualifying as a copyrightable work. Maybe in today's IP climate one could
copyright or trademark the concept of using abbreviated codes.

In a related note, the Library Hotel is being sued for using the Dewey
Decimal system. In that case, however, it seems to be solidly based on
Trademark law, as they used the term "Dewey Decimal" in their commercial

Lengthy URL, sorry:


-----Original Message-----
From: David Megginson [mailto:dmeggin@attglobal.net] 
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2003 4:46 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] ISO turns evil?

Simon St.Laurent writes:

 > > ...The use of ISO 3166-1 in commercial products may be subject to a  >
> licence fee.....
 > So someone has to develop another list of country and language codes,  >
and then a non-commercial service performs transformations. Hmmm...

It might be as simple as conforming to an IETF RFC that happens to contain
the same codes, or perhaps some very minor variations.  After all, that how
ISO develops some of its specs are developed from other people's work.

Again, this is all premature.  Obviously, someone has made some kind of a
serious mistake at ISO (given the warning on the Web site), but hopefully
it's one that they will fix quickly.  If not, then they will rapidly become
completely irrelevant in the standards world, since almost no one is
interested in taking a risk with standards that might turn out not to be

All the best,


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