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Subject: FW: [trans-ws] ISO codes and RAND

Title: ISO codes and RAND
During the WS-Trans OASIS committee, Arle copied us on the ISO proposal to charge royalties to use ISO standards.
INCITS/L2 has issued the statement below, strongly recommending against the proposal. Kathy (committee chair) also recommended that we issue a strong message against it.
Arle/Peter/Tony, I would like to ask that we issue a similiar resolution from each standard groups or have a combined

From: Cathy Wissink
Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2003 4:18 PM
To: Gerard Cattin des Bois
Subject: RE: [trans-ws] ISO codes and RAND

Yes, this is a known problem. INCITS/L2 (the US committee for character sets and internationalization, which I chair) took the following resolution at the last meeting:

Regarding ISO royalties (reference INCITS document in031008):

Resolved:  With reference to the proposal by ISOs 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. 


From: Gerard Cattin des Bois
Sent: Thu 9/4/2003 1:48 PM
To: Cathy Wissink
Subject: FW: [trans-ws] ISO codes and RAND

In my committe meeting for web services dealing with translation exchange between vendors and software subscribers, the following letter was sent to LISA, and raises some concerns regarding licencing fees for using country codes from ISO 3166.
See mail below.
Are you aware of this? and what is the impact for us and for the industry in general?

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From: Arle Lommel [mailto:arle@lisa.org]
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 8:46 AM
To: trans-ws@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [trans-ws] ISO codes and RAND

This is the information I have on this topic. I don't know a whole lot more.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jennifer DeCamp  [mailto:jdecamp@mitre.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2003 5:46  PM
To: Michael Anobile
Subject: Letter from  INCITS


August 1,  2003


FROM:    INCITS Executive  Board

SUBJECT:    Availability of ISO  Codes

INCITS wishes to express its concern over recent positions taken  by ANSI and by the ISO CPSG with respect to ISO 3166, ISO 4217 and ISO 639, in  particular ISO 3166, Country Codes.  In brief, the issue is whether ANSI  or other ISO national bodies, or ISO itself, should charge royalty fees for  the use of the standard, in addition to a standard copyright fee for purchase  or reproduction of the standard.  In ANSI's on-line newsletter for May  2003, ANSI reported that:  
"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:    
"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.

In  INCITS'  opinion this would constitute a strong disincentive for  manufacturers, large consumers and consumer groups to develop standards within  standards organizations which might adopt this process or to subsequently make  use of the standards in their products and services.  Standards  participants, whether manufacturers, consumers, government agencies or other  entities, bring their own information to the standards development process so  that they can share in the resultant standard.  In other words, standards  participants have the expectation that in exchange for their "valuable and  volunteer" contributions, they will be able to "use" the fruits of their  consensus-building process without further hindrance.

In the  Information Technology industry, where many consortia and alternative  standards-setting models to the formal standards development process already  flourish, INCITS believes that the imposition of such usage fees would be  likely to drive participation in standards development away from organizations  which implement them. At the very least standards participants would probably  adjust their priorities for involvement as a result.

Accordingly,  INCITS requests the ANSI ICO Council to  
  1. Adopt a position that fees for using the contents of standards, as  opposed to fees for the purchase of the standards themselves, is  inappropriate  
  2. Ensure that ANSI does not go forward with such a policy  
  3. Take this issue forward to ISO Council in the strongest possible terms  to dissuade ISO and its members from this approach and from ISO policy  

------ End of Forwarded Message

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