UTF-8 in ZIP

robert_weir at us.ibm.com robert_weir at us.ibm.com
Tue Nov 2 18:55:44 CET 2010

I think this question demonstrates how backwards this Study Group is. 

Often a company that owns a patent may make the decision to pursue 
standardization of their technology.  Why?  Because they believe that 
doing so leads to a larger market, and a larger overall profit for them. 
So better to have less than 100% of a larger market than to have 100% of a 
small market.  In order to make the standard more adoptable and to grow 
the market faster, the rights owners may decide to make the standard 
royalty free.  That is a conscious business decision, made in order to 
maximize overall profits.

But in this case, PKWARE has not come to us asking to make ZIP an ISO 
standard.  So far as I can tell, they have no great need of this.  Their 
technology is already globally adopted, and has been for 20 years.  There 
is no rapid adoption growth at the level of the format.  But we expect 
that they will submit their specification, give up control of it, as well 
as disclaim any patent rights they might have?! 

Of course, I'd applaud them if they decided to do that.  It would be a 
charitable thing to do... if they were a charity.  But why would they do 

I think we should seriously consider this.  SC34 seems to be getting more 
into a "business development" mode, realizing that its core work is 
essentially done and most of the interesting XML work is now occurring in 
the W3C and other consortia.  We're looking to reach out to other groups 
like IDPF and encourage them to move their work to SC34.  That is fine. It 
certainly gets us all into the right frame of mind of considering what the 
value of ISO standardization is and trying to sell that value proposition 
to others.  I encourage that.  But please, consider this also in this 
case.  Instead of looking for tricks to try to grab the ZIP Application 
Note from PKWARE, maybe some member of this WG might offer a few words on 
why PKWARE should want to do this.  Maybe we can try selling the idea 
rather than just demanding it.  What can we offer PKWARE?

Just a thought...


sc34wg1study-bounces at vse.cz wrote on 11/02/2010 01:20:08 PM:

> I don't care technical details.  I care money.  If I use UTF-8 file
> names in ZIP, will PKWARE claim lincese fee?  Or, will PKWARE 
> make clear that the use of UTF-8 is safe and that they will never 
> claime license fee?
> Cheers,
> Makoto
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