UTF-8 in ZIP

robert_weir at us.ibm.com robert_weir at us.ibm.com
Wed Nov 3 16:55:38 CET 2010

Alex Brown <alexb at griffinbrown.co.uk> wrote on 11/03/2010 10:04:48 AM:
> If I were to guess at the reasoning behind this, I would say that 
> the IPR regime governing a specification will materially affect the 
> process of standardizing it. If a project reached FDIS stage and it 
> suddenly emerged at that late stage that a patent holder was not 
> willing to negotiate licenses of an in-scope technology on 
> acceptable terms, that project would be jeopardised or destroyed by 
> that revelation, and a lot of time will have been wasted.

I'm quite certain that their are interests that would benefit from this. 
But I'm also quite certain that there is nothing in the Directives that 
actually requires this.  Aside from the requirement to provide your own 
translator if you wish to speak Russian at a meeting, I find that the ISO 
makes few requirements on individual participants.

So again, it comes down to this:

1) What do you want?

2) Whose help do you need to get what you want?

3) What do you offer to those whose help you need, in return for their 

I'm sure SC34 could do many delightful things if there were no 
intellectual property rights in the world, and they could take any 
specification or standard from any other company or standards organization 
and make it their own.  ZIP, Java, Silverlight, etc., would all be yours, 
not only to maintain, but to expand and/or diverge as you saw fit.  Of 
course, with no intellectual property rights, ISO would also immediately 
go bankrupt, since half of its operational budget comes from selling its 
standards, the prices of which are maintained by energetic defense of 
their copyright.

So this all goes back to the question:  What is SC34 offering?  What is 
the benefit to any rights owner to participate or contribute compared to, 
for example, simply agreeing to an external normative reference via an 

I love open standards as much as the next guy.  I participate in 
developing them.  My employer supports a long list of open standards and 
ordinarily pledges patents to those that we support.  However, I know that 
my enthusiasm concerning open standards does not necessitate that others 
have equal enthusiasm. 

In any case, I think that any "rationale" for standardization of "aspects 
of ZIP" is deficient if it does not consider and resolve the different 
interests of participants in this WG.  I've made a proposal.  I have seen 
no others, nor have I seen any principled objection to my proposal.  Can 
we move forward on it now?


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