Re: ISO 10646 compliance and EU law

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Mon Dec 27 2004 - 05:04:51 CST

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    [ I am not subscribed to hebrew list, so I do not post there; feel free to
    relay if it is worth the value. I will not subscribe to this list just to
    post it, and since Elaine did not explain on which list she want the
    discussion to take place, I choose the list I am subscribed to. ]

    On Thursday, December 23th, 2004 22:38Z E. Keown va escriure:
    > He thought that it is illegal under certain
    > circumstances to sell non-ISO 10646-compliant software
    > in the EU.

    Hmmm, that would mean that GSM SMS encoding (I believe it is called ERMES),
    which blatantly violates ISO/IEC 10646 frame (the same codepoint may encode
    both a Greek and a Latin character, based on uppercase lookalike), will
    become illegal...
    If it turns to be true, it will be hot news to everybody including her
    brother, at least here in Europa!

    Also, conformance to 10646 (very different from compliance to Unicode)
    requires the mention of the UTF, the implementation level and the
    collections used. So it would mean that ANY software (that deals with
    strings, and to which the "certain circumstances" might apply) selled here
    should make these parameters clear.
    Well, looks like about nobody is complying the law :-).
    Or else, that the "certain circumstances" are rather narrow.

    > That is, if I develop Hebrew/Castilian software which
    > uses custom combining classes or other deviations from
    > Unicode Hebrew, this software cannot be sold in Spain
    > (in EU since 1986).

    If you are developping this kind of software, here in Spain it will
    undoubtly be considered as scholarship work (because of the Ladino etc.
    heritage). And I doubt you can invoke a general-public regulation to apply
    to this kind of work: first politicians are not that dumb, second almost
    everybody will understand it is benefical to Spain to allow this kind of
    software to enter, even if it means looking at another direction, and third
    anyway scholars will not attend such limitations: if they need the software,
    they will use/buy it.

    So, do not worry, you can continue to develop your software, and taylor it
    to the Spanish "market", even it does not comply with any and all of the
    requisites of ISO/IEC 10646 (even if I miss the deviations that may qualify
    as non-conformance, particularly since "The rules for forming the combined
    graphic symbol are beyond the scope of ISO/IEC 10646."; just specify you are
    using implementation level 3.)

    ( Of course, another thing could be that your software might directly
    compete with one done here, and that the local software company may invoke
    such a regulation to try to keep you out of their home market; just like you
    can try similar tricks in Canada. But then we are speaking about disguised
    tool barriers, which is a much more wide subject. And can apply to anywhere
    in the world. And there are laws here in the EU to beat these kind of
    barrers. )


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