Subject: FW: [trans-ws] ISO codes and RAND
Regarding ISO royalties (reference INCITS document in031008):
Resolved: With reference to the proposal by ISO’s CPSG to charge fees for the use of ISO codes: ISO infrastructure standards such as 3166, 4217 and 639 MUST be royalty free. The negative consequences of charging royalties would be severe, for example:
1. Disincentive for companies to contribute to ISO standards development;
2. Strong incentive to avoid using or referencing ISO standards by software developers or commercial resellers;
3. It would promote the development and use of alternative, royalty-free standards;
4. Disincentive for organizations which have been harmonizing their alternative standards with ISO standards.
Moreover, many of these ISO standards are themselves based on contributions from other sources or not distinguishable from pre-existing data, and charging royalties for the use of this data may expose ISO itself to debates over intellectual property rights and financial liability. Even the discussion of this issue casts a cloud over future use of ISO standards in the IT environment.
The impact for the industry could be huge, *if* this happens. I urge you to get the word out and have any formal organizations you work with take a position on this and send it through their channels to their national standards setting organizations and ISO.
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From: Jennifer DeCamp [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2003 5:46 PM
To: Michael Anobile
Subject: Letter from INCITS
"The CPSG also discussed the ISO 3166 country codes, ISO 4217 currencycodes, and ISO 639 language codes and proposed clarifications for their distribution. Noting the necessity for a number of ISO standards to be published as databases, the CPSG asked that the Secretary General recommend a consideration of the publciation of some ISO standards as such, and promoted studying related pricing, delivery, and maintenance issues.
"CPSG Recommendation: CPSG considered the ambiguity between reproducing of data elements from ISO 3166, 4217 and 6349 for the purpose of implementation and for commercial exploitation and proposed the following clarifications:
The final point has been amplified by ANSI in a summary on use of the ISO codes as:
- The reproduction of the full standard shall follow the normal copyright rules
- No copyright fee shall be charged for the reproduction of the 2 digit codes of ISO 3166, 4217 and 639 lists in books, magazines, acadeic work and for internal use by companies, institutes and organization
- Software developers or commercial resellers requesting permission to embed ISO codes in their products for resale will be asked to purchase each code in electronic format and pay either an annual fee or a one time fee and any applicable maintenance fees required (to be further discussed with CPSG by correspondence)"
"Companies who develop software products for sale to other parties are adding value to their products by including the data elements from an ISO Code in proper applications ...via the sale of the product the developing company is not only being compensated for its direct efforts to incorporate the ISO Codes in apropriate locations but it is also being compensated for trhe value the ISO Codes have added to its product. The ISO community should also be compensated for providing the intellectual property required to incorporate the value-added features into the product."While this raises many debatable issues, INCITS' overriding concern is that this represents a radical departure from established practice with respect to standards. We are not concerned here with the fees collected by many standards setting organizations for purchasing copies of standards. Rather, the proposal being discussed would in effect place a charge upon implementing a standard by enforcing a fee associated with each copy of a product built according to or incorporating the standard. In essence, therefore, this charges users of a standard, be they direct (in the case of manufacturers) or indirect (in the case of product consumers) to actually use the standard.