Re: BOCU-1 spec

Date: Mon Feb 19 2007 - 22:26:59 CST

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    I agree in setting standards much care needs to be taken, that we need
    to learn the lessons from the past and read the small print. Some good
    ideas have aleady been patented so as to make then unusable, there are
    however always good alternatives, which are not so bound by patent

    Quoting Doug Ewell <>:

    > John Knightley <vunzndi at vfemail dot net> wrote:
    >> since the license for BOCU-1 is not so "clear" or more precisely
    >> deliberately conditional, the most effective solution would seem to
    >> be
    >> (1) drop the BOCU-1 project
    >> (2) use the ICU project
    >> (3) avoid confussion with BOCU-1 spec, which means at a minimum
    >> dropping the name BOCU-1 spec, and use the ICU project as the
    >> starting point. he resulting spec would not be BOCU-1, either in
    >> name or content.
    > You'd probably want to check to make sure that the resulting spec
    > didn't infringe on the individual claims made in the BOCU patent.

    Yes, I wasn't very clear here.

    >> Speaking from experience some sort of "GPL" is one criteria I often
    >> use to decide whether or not to be involved in certain projects,
    >> because the license means that even if the other parties drop out,
    >> or change their mind, ones work is not locked away to rot
    >> somewhere. At the same time I know of some "wonderful" projects
    >> that I dare not touch because of the restrictions placed on them.

    Others, such as the US gevernment, also have a basic requirement of
    open format for documents etc. The essential idea being not allow ones
    valuable data to be held for ransom. Those of us with less clout need
    to be even more careful.

    > Another criterion is whether the protected technology is valuable
    > enough to be worth licensing. Most of the major vendors of graphics
    > software had little choice but to license LZW from (or get sued by)
    > Unisys, since GIF was so overwhelmingly popular and there were few
    > practical alternatives.

    This is always tricky, the comnparisons between mp3 and ogg illustrate
    the same sort of thing. Mp3 is more widely used even though ogg is
    opensource and gives better compression. Some vendors even "pretend"
    that ogg will not work on there OS, even though free ogg software is
    available for every major OS.

    > BOCU-1 is different; its performance is usually slightly worse than
    > SCSU, its lack of ASCII transparency could be a hindrance, and the
    > market for Unicode compression formats is small anyway (and most people
    > tend to look down on them). BOCU-1 is certainly easier to encode and
    > even decode than SCSU, but it doesn't seem "better enough" to justify
    > the process of applying for a license, which apparently requires
    > demonstrating to IBM that one's implementation is "conformant," and in
    > the process exposing one's code to a potential competitor.

    I would say the absence of patent problems is a necessary condition
    for ISO, but not a sufficient one.

    > --
    > Doug Ewell * Fullerton, California, USA * RFC 4645 * UTN #14

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