From: Asmus Freytag (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Oct 20 2008 - 00:48:09 CDT
On 10/19/2008 3:43 PM, William J Poser wrote:
> 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.
That's the theory. There's nevertheless a chance that the organization
in question would end up objecting for whatever reasons; neither Unicode
nor WG2 have the resources or means to defend this matter in court -- no
matter how valid their legal positions appear to be.
There are plenty of widely used symbols which could benefit from
encoding and for which there is no question of such possible
entanglement. As long as that's the case, I fully support UTC and WG2 in
their current position which is to not consider symbols for which there
is any risk of such outcome, however small.
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