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   Re: [xml-dev] ISO turns evil?

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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:
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 
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 
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 
because it involves such a difference in form, and perhaps because a 
program may not be publishing in the same way.

You can see the same with ISO 8879: you cannot publish you own version 
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 
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 
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 

Rick Jelliffe


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