Re: Re-distributing the files in

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed Nov 05 2003 - 12:19:33 EST

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    From: "Marco Cimarosti" <>

    > Is it allowed to re-distribute, in a commercial application, the Microsoft
    > and Apple mapping files available from the Unicode server?
    > I am talking about the files published in the following directories:
    > The header comment of mapping files in other directories under
    > often contain explicit instruction
    > for re-distribution, such as:
    > "Unicode, Inc. hereby grants the right to [...] make copies of this
    > file in any form for internal or external distribution as long as this
    > notice remains attached";
    > "Unicode, Inc. specifically excludes the right to re-distribute this
    > file directly to third parties or other organizations whether for profit
    > not".

    The official Microsoft GlobalDev website at:
    is giving these references on:
    These pages do not contain such distribution licence requirements but they
    don't also list a grant for using them.

    But the bottom of the pages contain a link to the page "Information on Term
    of Use", at:

    which states:

        Unless otherwise specified, the Services are for your personal and
        non-commercial use. You may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit,
        display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works
        from, transfer, or sell any information, software, products or services
        obtained from the Services.

    but then:

        Permission to use Documents (such as white papers, press releases,
        datasheets and FAQs) from the Services is granted, provided that
        (1) the below copyright notice appears in all copies and that both the
        copyright notice and this permission notice appear, (2) use of such
        Documents from the Services is for informational and non-commercial
        or personal use only and will not be copied or posted on any network
        computer or broadcast in any media, and (3) no modifications of any
        Documents are made. Accredited educational institutions, such as
        K-12, universities, private/public colleges, and state community
        may download and reproduce the Documents for distribution in the
        classroom. Distribution outside the classroom requires express written
        permission. Use for any other purpose is expressly prohibited by law,
        and may result in severe civil and criminal penalties. Violators will be
        prosecuted to the maximum extent possible.

    So it seems that information in these documents and that will be "used" are
    already authorized for redistribution. But they cannot be altered and the
    copyright notice must be kept.

    Your question is good, because there's normally a required authorization
    licence, even to create derivative files that would "use" the information
    listed there. Of course, if the software is developped with a Microsoft
    development tool, the licence of that development tool will allow
    distributing an application that use these charsets.

    The problem is then: can we use and map the Microsoft charsets on non
    Microsoft development platforms or in softwares not built with Microsoft
    development tools in which these mappings are implicitly used, as part of
    the MSDOS or Windows systems? For "OEM" codepages, it seems that Microsoft
    has inherited and used charsets initially created by IBM, but it may have
    licenced it from IBM to create MSDOS. The situation is much less clear for
    Microsoft ANSI codepages.

    I hope that when Microsoft offered to Unicode these files to be published by
    Unicode, it has signed the licence agreement that authorizes such
    publication by Unicode. It would be hard if Microsoft wanted later to claim
    royaltees for all unauthorized use of these charsets (i.e. the mapping
    between Windows ANSI codepages and Unicode, which, in the current form,
    constitutes a derived work based on copyrighted product, i.e. the Microsoft
    GlobalDev pages).

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Nov 05 2003 - 13:24:36 EST