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Subject: Re: [office-comment] embedding images in ODF

On Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 8:58 AM, Hanssens Bart<Bart.Hanssens@fedict.be> wrote:
> +1 on making media-type a required attribute
> But Mingfei is right regarding wmf not being a IANA registered media type...
> So the ODF spec could say something like:
> - use the IANA registered type if it's available
> - if not, use (one of the) "unregistered" commonly used mime types (and document this in your implementer's notes ;-)
> - if that's not available, fall back to application/octet-stream etc

Seems problematic from an interoperability standpoint not to specify
the allowed media types and to exclude all others. I.e., a check
signed in blank would require an implementation to support every media
type that exists in order to provide high confidence of

This is a JTC 1 international standard under preparation and JTC 1
standards  unless exempted by the Secretaries-General of ISO and IEC
"need to specify clearly and unambiguously the conformity requirements
that are essential to achieve the interoperability. Complexity and the
number of options should be kept to a minimum[.]"  ISO/IEC JTC 1
Directives, (5th Ed., v. 3.0, 5 April 2007) pg. 145,
<http://www.jtc1sc34.org/repository/0856rev.pdf>  A technical
regulation or international standard must specify [i] "any objectively
definable 'features', 'qualities', 'attributes', or other
'distinguishing mark'" [ii] of an identifiable product or group of
products [iii] in mandatory "must" or "must not" terms. WTDS 135 EC -
Asbestos, (World Trade Organization Appellate Body; 12 March 2001;
HTML version), para. 66-70,
reaffirmed, WTDS 231 EC - Sardines, (World Trade Organization
Appellate Body; 26 September 2002), pp. 41-51,
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds231_e.htm>. See
also Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade Article 2(4)
(international standards must also serve as technical regulations).

There are also IPR considerations. Some media types are encumbered.by
patent claims that prevent their support by some vendors, e.g.,
OpenOffice.org is licensed under the LGPL, hence its code must be
sublicensable and royalty-free, and its generation of
patent-encumbered media types would be problematic.

The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade teaches that its Member
nations must "ensure that technical regulations are not prepared,
adopted or applied with a view to or with the effect of creating
unnecessary obstacles to international trade." Article 2(2).
<http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/17-tbt_e.htm>. The same
requirement extends to all technical standardization activities
throughout the territories of all  Member nations, pursuant to
Articles 3(1), 4(1) and Annex 3(E).

Therefore, one must determine whether incorporation of
patent-encumbered technology into a standard creates such obstacles
and is necessary.  See also Agreement Article 2(3) (least trade
restrictive means required); Article 3(1) (Member nations required to
take reasonable measures to ensure compliance with Article 2 by
non-government bodies within their territories, other than an
irrelevant exception.)

In summary, I see both practical and legal problems with not
specifying the allowed media types using mandatory terms. I also see
both practical and legal problems with allowing patent-encumbered
media types with IPR regimes blocking implementation by anyone.

Best regards,

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. (Marbux)

Universal Interoperability Council

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