February 4, 2007
I submit the following for UTC discussion
Formally withdraw UTS#40 and entirely remove the proposed draft document
A year ago, on 2006-02-03, the Unicode Consortium published a Proposed Draft Unicode Technical Standard #40, BOCU-1: MIME-Compatible Unicode Compression, at http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr40/ .
The draft is accompanied by an intellectual property claim by IBM Corporation, purporting to offer
a free license to patents they deem necessary for an implementations, under certain conditions.
Many people, both inside the Consortium and outside, have objected to the specific terms of this letter, which differ from other offers by IBM accompanying other technology incorporated into Unicode Technical Standards.
Additionally, it appears that at least one attempt at obtaining such a license has been refused, apparently because the requester was self-employed.
In the meantime, both authors are no longer working for IBM and are thus no longer able to help resolve the issue with their former employer. In addition, there is no indication that active work is being perused on this document.
A Unicode Technical Note#6, BOCU-1: MIME-Compatible Unicode Compression
by the same authors exists, dated 2006-02-04 which, as Technical Note is exempt from the Unicode patent policy.
As a result, people outside of the Unicode Consortium are confused about the status of the Proposed Draft document, as evidenced by recent discussions on the public mail lists.
The proposed action would remedy this situation. Since the UTS was never approved, it is not necessary, and in this case, counterproductive, to retain the draft document. It can be replaced by a stub pointing to the withdrawn status and point readers to UTN#6. (The consortium would leave it to the discretion of the authors of the UTN to update the UTN as they see fit, including salvaging of any part of the text from the proposed draft document)