The (Klingon) Empire Strikes Back

Peter Constable petercon at
Tue Nov 15 11:22:41 CST 2016

Klingon _should not_ be encoded so long as there are open IP issues. For that reason, I think it would be premature to place it in the roadmap.


From: Mark E. Shoulson [mailto:mark at]
Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2016 2:10 PM
To: Mark Davis ☕️ <mark at>; Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at>
Cc: Peter Constable <petercon at>; David Faulks <davidj_faulks at>; Unicode Mailing List <unicode at>
Subject: Re: The (Klingon) Empire Strikes Back

On 11/10/2016 02:34 PM, Mark Davis ☕️ wrote:
The committee doesn't "tentatively approve, pending X".

But the good news is that I think it was the sense of the committee that the evidence of use for Klingon is now sufficient, and the rest of the proposal was in good shape (other than the lack of a date), so really only the IP stands in the way.

Fair enough.  There have, I think, been other cases of this sort of informal "tentative approval", usually involving someone from UTC telling the proposer, "your proposal is okay, but you probably need to change this..."  And that's about the best I could hope for at this point anyway.  So it sounds like (correct me if I'm wrong) there is at least unofficial recognition that pIqaD *should* be encoded, and that it's mainly an IP problem now (like with tengwar), and possibly some minor issues that maybe hadn't been addressed properly in the proposal.

Can we get pIqaD removed from then?  And (dare I ask) perhaps enshrined someplace in pending further progress with Paramount?

I would suggest that the Klingon community work towards getting Paramount to engage with us, so that any IP issues could be settled.

I'll see what we can come up with; have to start somewhere.  There is a VERY good argument to be made that Paramount doesn't actually have the right to stop the encoding, as you can't copyright an alphabet (as we have seen), and they don't have a current copyright to "Klingon" in this domain, etc., and it may eventually come down to these arguments.  However, I recognize that having a good argument on your side, and indeed even having the law on your side, does not guarantee smooth sailing when the other guys have a huge well-funded legal department on their side, and thus I understand UTC's reluctance to move forward without better legal direction.  But at least we can say we've made progress, can't we?




On Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 10:33 AM, Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at<mailto:Shawn.Steele at>> wrote:
More generally, does that mean that alphabets with perceived owners will only be considered for encoding with permission from those owner(s)?  What if the ownership is ambiguous or unclear?

Getting permission may be a lot of work, or cost money, in some cases.  Will applications be considered pending permission, perhaps being provisionally approved until such permission is received?

Is there specific language that Unicode would require from owners to be comfortable in these cases?  It makes little sense for a submitter to go through a complex exercise to request permission if Unicode is not comfortable with the wording of the permission that is garnered.  Are there other such agreements that could perhaps be used as templates?

Historically, the message pIqaD supporters have heard from Unicode has been that pIqaD is a toy script that does not have enough use.  The new proposal attempts to respond to those concerns, particularly since there is more interest in the script now.  Now, additional (valid) concerns are being raised.

In Mark’s case it seems like it would be nice if Unicode could consider the rest of the proposal and either tentatively approve it pending Paramount’s approval, or to provide feedback as to other defects in the proposal that would need addressed for consideration.  Meanwhile Mark can figure out how to get Paramount’s agreement.


From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at<mailto:unicode-bounces at>] On Behalf Of Peter Constable
Sent: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 8:49 PM
To: Mark E. Shoulson <mark at<mailto:mark at>>; David Faulks <davidj_faulks at<mailto:davidj_faulks at>>
Cc: Unicode Mailing List <unicode at<mailto:unicode at>>
Subject: RE: The (Klingon) Empire Strikes Back

From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at] On Behalf Of Mark E. Shoulson
Sent: Friday, November 4, 2016 1:18 PM
> At any rate, this isn't Unicode's problem…

You saying that potential IP issues are not Unicode’s problem does not in fact make it not a problem. A statement in writing from authorized Paramount representatives stating it would not be a problem for either Unicode, its members or implementers of Unicode would make it not a problem for Unicode.


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