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   Re: [xml-dev] ISO turns evil?

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K. Ari Krupnikov wrote:
Rick Jelliffe <ricko@allette.com.au> writes:
(Remember, non-commercial use is not in question
here, so Free software developers are immune to problems here.)

"Free software" and "commercial software" are completely orthogonal
categories. Most software, Free, open source or proprietary, is
written with profit in mind. Red Hat sell commercial Free
software. "Free" refers to what customers are free to do with it, not
how much they pay. See [1] for an in-depth explanation and examples.
Oops, I did use free with a capital F to mean Free in the sense of [1], however just because
[1] makes a distinction between free and commercial does not mean that a court would:
in particular, they might see that a commercial service is being provided supporting
free software. I should have said "free Free".

But regardless of that, from a few private comments I received, it seems people mistook my
main points: 
  * I investigated the situation with licensing for ISO codes in 1996/1997
  * The policy *then* was very clear: publication (i.e. for reading) was subject to copyright,
  but use in programs (e.g. in source code) was not
  * The new licensing regime they seem to be creeping towards is really bad faith; indeed
  to me it verges on fraud to put out an international standard which is designed to be publically
  adopted, then try to charge for it years later.  *If* that is what they are trying to do, they should
  be ashamed. (*If* they are just talking about distributions of lists for reading, and there is no
  policy change, then this is a storm in a teacup, but we need clarification.)

As someone who has been a national delegate to an ISO committee and is currently the
editor of a forthcoming ISO standard, it often irritates me when I see the US has granting
patents on uses of markup-based technologies that were exactly the kind of thing we wanted
to encourage. (If it were not for the Open Source and Free movement, I think the rest of
the world would have thrown off the shackles of US IPR despotism years ago, in the
area of software.)  But it would really piss me off if ISO jumped on that same money-grubbing,
anti-social bandwagon.  To claim licenses on the use of international standards in software
goes against the very thing they were designed for.  If ISO cannot fund it, let some other
consortium look after it: the UN+W3C+OASIS+IANA overseeing it, and the Danish
adminstering it.

Rick Jelliffe


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