RE: ANSI requires licence fees to use ISO language and country code?

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Mar 21 2003 - 15:15:02 EST

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    > A representative of ISO sent this to me today.
    > >I do not know about ANSI but for ISO/CS the quote given below from
    > >
    > >ex.html is certainly correct.
    > >
    > >We make a distinction between implementation and commercial use.
    > I have no idea how they manage to get their heads around this one.

    Nor do I.

    > >Anyone can buy the standard - or download the codes from our website free of
    > >charge - and use them within their company for any application they want
    > >without having to pay any licence fee due to ISO.
    > >
    > >However, if you load the list of country codes and names in a commercial
    > >product, thus giving an added value to your product, we consider it normal
    > >that ISO asks for the payment of a royalty fee.

    Let's try this one on for size:

    However, if you load the list of ISO/IEC 10646 character codes in a commercial
    product, thus giving an added value to your product, we consider it normal
    that ISO asks for the payment of a royalty fee.

    The statement you got from that unnamed ISO representative seems to me
    to be ludicrously out-of-touch with the nature of information technology
    today and with the whole concept of what open standards in this area
    should be all about.

    Even the corporate-dominated Unicode Consortium, which one might presume
    to be driven by crass commercial interests, doesn't make the mistake of
    presuming to head down the road of establishing licensing fees for *any*
    use, whatsoever, of its open standards. The value proposition for the
    use of open standards isn't in what license fees could potentially be
    extracted from their users.

    It seems to me that this toe in the water about licensing fees for
    standards from ISO and ANSI may be nothing more than a somewhat desperate
    effort to find an alternative revenue stream for organizations whose
    business model for sale of standards is no longer working in an era
    of electronic publication on the web.


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