From: William J Poser (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Oct 19 2008 - 17:43:57 CDT
I doubt that there is an IP issue here. Any copyright the IOC may have
must be on a particular rendering of the five rings. So long as the glyph
used by others is not a copy of the IOC's rendering, there would be
no copyright infringement.
The thing that the IOC is mainly concerned about is trademark, but
ownership of a mark only prevents others from using the mark for
certain specific purposes, such as identifying their own products.
"Microsoft", for example, is a trademark, but we are all free to
use it as much as we like in talking about Microsoft. Its status
as a mark only prevents us from naming our own products or companies
"Microsoft". If for some reason Unicode were to wish to treat the
word "Microsoft" as a compound character and assign it a codepoint,
there would be no legal barrier to doing so. Microsoft's interests
only enter the picture if someone uses that "character" to identify
their own product or company, which would not be a concern of Unicode
any more than it would be if someone were to use Unicode to write
a threatening letter or a libellous publication.
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