Re: Indian Rupee Sign (U+20B9) proposal - copyright/licencing issue

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Tue Jul 20 2010 - 09:09:05 CDT

  • Next message: Mahesh T. Pai: "Re: Indian Rupee Sign (U+20B9) proposal - copyright/licencing issue"

    Even if the glyph has been shown in the press, this does not mean that
    the drawing can be freely used. The rules for the competiton included
    a transfer of property for the copyright, and the chosen new logo
    certainly cannot escape the fact that it has a copyright that can't be

    After all this is a new design, and copyright exists on it **BY
    DEFAULT**. This is true for any new drawing or glyph design, from
    whoever it comes, and from any country, and independantly of its
    intended usage purpose.

    This means that the character can be encoded, but as long as there's
    not been an open licencing on it published by the Indian government
    permitting its free use and interchange, you can't simply produce any
    font that will freely reuse the glyph.

    I really think that this is something that will be blocking its
    effective encoding in the Unicode and ISO 10646 standards UNLESS the
    formal agreement is made by the Indian government for its publication
    in the standards as a representative glyphs, and allowing derived
    works to be made on it (to allow variants of glyph styles)

    A copyright (an IP right) is not a blocking factor for the encoding
    (just like opensource is also covered by copyright), because IP rights
    exist in almost everything created by an identifiable author or

    What is needed is an open licence (without royaltee claims) to use it
    in a standard published by the UTC or ISO, and allowing free reuse and
    republication or modifications by others.

    That's why, for now, all that can be done is a pre-encoding (i.e. only
    a prereservation of the codepoint), until the Indian government
    approves such publication of *their* glyph.

    But as long the formal process of licencing is not complete, the
    character cannot be part of the standard (that's why the Apple or
    Windows logos that appear on keyboards could not be encoded as a
    Unicode character : they could have been encoded in international
    standards if they had been licenced for free use in all contexts and
    in any text, by Apple and Microsoft respectively).


    > Message du 20/07/10 15:42
    > De : "Doug Ewell" <>
    > A : "Unicode Mailing List" <>
    > Copie :
    > Objet : Re: Indian Rupee Sign (U+20B9) proposal
    > Philippe Verdy <verdy underscore p at wanadoo dot fr> wrote:
    > > The final vote for approving the representative glyph will require
    > > first getting an agreement with the Indian governement that still owns
    > > the exclusive design, until it approves its use by the public and
    > > implementation in fonts and keyboard layouts,
    > > ...
    > > The final vote will still be needed (and the formal authorization /
    > > open licencing from India for what is still *their* glyph)
    > This is the second time I have read this. Is it true? I know the
    > European authorities tried to claim that the Euro sign was a logo, and
    > had to remain unchanged regardless of the font style, and were unable to
    > enforce that.
    > Things that are truly logos, with IP rights owned by someone else,
    > aren't supposed to be encoded. I'm sure that's not what the Indian
    > government had in mind.

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