Accessing the WG2 document register

Anshuman Pandey pandey at
Wed Jun 10 04:19:02 CDT 2015

On Jun 10, 2015, at 4:25 AM, William_J_G Overington <wjgo_10009 at> wrote:

>> Remind me why Unicode is still taking ISO to the dance? Sometimes going stag has its benefits...
> As I understand it, Unicode Inc. is a recognised guest of ISO in participating in ISO producing an International Standard.

Does Unicode need ISO to exist? Or does ISO need Unicode?

> The fact that Unicode Inc. provides a valuable public service in making documents and encoding charts freely available to all who access the website is not in any way the same as the provenance that ISO has of being recognised by governments around the world as providing standards for technological matters

ISO is a profit making business. I worked on an ISO standard for the transliteration of Indic scripts two decades ago and I have yet to see the published standard. Back then I couldn't afford to buy the document and ISO didn't have the heart to give me a copy as a contribute. So, to this day today, I have yet to see the official standard that I helped to develop.

ISO needs to function as a non-profit organization with open access to all of its activities and publications.

> I am not a lawyer, yet as I understand it, the underlying theory of standards work is that it is a legally permitted exception to a general legal prohibition of businesses meeting together to decide and agree what will be applied in industrial activity.

And so ISO functions by relying upon contributions made by the public without granting either authorship or compensation to those who actually build their standards. And now they want to claim ownership of contributed documents...

> Thus, for example, it is fine for businesses to agree that one particular code point will be used for the symbol for the Indian Rupee, as that helps consumers in that a message between computers of different brands can be passed and read successfully.

This can be done without ISO...

> Yet, for example, it is not permitted for businesses to meet together to decide that all computers will be in a grey plastic box, as that hinders choice for consumers.

Who exactly is imposing these restrictions? Restriction of choice is an issue for political economy, not standards bodies.

All the best,

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