Re: Unicode Consortium & ISO Organization

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Wed May 12 1999 - 16:09:36 EDT

At 01:53 AM 5/11/99 -0700, Ricardo Bermell Benet wrote:
>It seems that (full) documentation for Unicode won't be online and free
>(gratis) for ever and ever, ¿why?
>Is Unicode Consortium an organization "for profit", an altruist one,
>or what kind of mixture? (Please, note i'm not criticising, simply
>i don't know the answer)

Dear Ricardo,

Unicode is a California non-profit corporation. That is, the Consortium
makes enough money through membership fees and a small amount of book
royalties to continue its work. While the Consortium does not have to pay
income taxes, it is not a recognized charity, therefore it does not raise
money via donations.

The Unicode Standard is published as a book via a commercial publishing
house. Given the nature of the work and its size, this is one of the best
means of distribution. We also make all the data files available on our FTP
site - so that they do not have to be re-entered by anyone, but they do
require reading the text of the standard.

>ISO is a public organization, so one can expect (hopefully) its
>documentation will some day be online and free. And more, one may

You would be surprised to find out the *actual* restrictions on and fees
charged for most ISO standards. I would encourage you to inform yourself
rather than speculating. For examle, the existing version of ISO 10646
costs around $400.00, compared to approximately $60.00 for the Unicode
Standard, Version 2.0.

>expect ISO standards won't ever have restrictions of royalties,
>not restrictions of use (nor of documentation) for arbitrary
>users or organizations.

>¿What warranties of that kind supplies
>Unicode Consortium?

There are no royalties to use the information in the Unicode standard.
The usual copyright restrictions apply to the actual text of the book.

If you wish to use the Unicode logo to advertise a product that supports
the standard, you may apply and if you meet the conditions, be granted such
a license for a very nominal fee.


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