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

From: Julian Bradfield (
Date: Wed Jul 21 2010 - 07:16:46 CDT

  • Next message: David Starner: "Re: Indian Rupee Sign (U+20B9) proposal - copyright/licencing issue"

    On 2010-07-20, Philippe Verdy <> wrote:
    >> After all the European Commission does not claima a copyright on the
    >> euro sign, does it?
    > Yes it does ! And not only the copyright is claimed, but also the
    > author's rights (on the original design) is protected, even if the
    > author transfered the copyright to the EC that acquired it (when
    > paying the author), he still has some moral rights (notably, nobody
    > else can claim the fame for the creation of the design).

    The copyright may subsist in the original design as a work of art, but
    there's no copyright in the abstract Euro symbol, or any
    interpretation of it, such as the € you just saw, that is not derived
    (in the meaning of copyright law, which is not the same as the meaning
    of everyday life) from the original design. (So you could not make the
    sample glyph be exactly the official symbol.)
    In Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions, this is established by case law, based
    on the maxim "copyright protects the expression of an idea, not the
    In Roman law jurisdictions, I don't have enough knowledge, but I've
    never heard that French (for example) copyright law protects
    individual abstract symbols. German copyright law explicitly excludes
    any official ("amtlich") publication from copyright, so whatever the
    European Commission may think, it doesn't have copyright in anything
    in Germany. (Germany also doesn't recognize copyright in mere logos

    Likewise for the Indian rupee. Indian copyright law is basically the
    same as British law (or rather as British law was in the 50s), so
    while the design as submitted is protected as a work of art, the
    concept of "RA combined with R" isn't.

    This isn't the first time tendentious remarks about copyright appear
    here. Last time I asked, I was told basically, Unicode can't afford
    lawyers, so we have to take a completely paranoid approach.
    However, Unicode has lots of very rich corporate members who employ
    entire armies of highly qualified intellectual property lawyers.
    Surely one of them could afford the few thousands of dollars of
    lawyer's time it would take to advise Unicode on this.

    The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
    Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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