"Information technology standards groups are raising warning
flags over a proposal that could raise fees for commonly used
industry codes, including two-letter country abbreviations, used in
many commercial software products.
"At stake is a tentative proposal from the International
Organization for Standardization (ISO) to add usage royalties for
several code standards, a move that opponents say could weaken
standards adherence by forcing software providers to pay a fee for
each ISO-compliant product they sell. The standards--ISO 3166, ISO
4217, ISO 639--cover country, currency and language codes,
"The ISO currently charges copyright royalties for the purchase
and reproduction of many of its standards documents, but does not
charge for access to the country-code standard. In addition, the
ISO does not currently charge for use of any of its codes, for
example, within a software application..."
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