From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Tue May 16 2000 - 05:07:58 EDT

G. Adam Stanislav wrote:
> At 12:53 15-05-2000 -0800, Robert Brady wrote:
> >On Mon, 15 May 2000, G. Adam Stanislav wrote:
> >
> >> Personally, I strongly object to the entire idea of the inclusion of this
> >> symbol into Unicode. I'd hate to see Unicode become a tool of Stallman's
> >> (or anyone else's) personal agenda.
> >
> >Including the symbol would not make Unicode become such.
> But it would set an undesirable precedent.

In fact, the precedent was the inclusion of copyright, TM etc.

> Copyleft represents a software license agreement.

Certainly (I like "agreement" above, because it conveys a meaning of
exchange of common values). And as a legal term, it has same status
as the Copyright sign (unless I am missing something).

More to the point, Copyright is a law of the United States of America,
that have nothing to do with my own law. However, I am including it,
and using this character, just because this is almost requested by
the US law to (somewhat) prevent piracy. I fail to see the difference
with Copyleft here (except that the field of the second is narrower).

The summum is reached by TM. This symbol holds no meaning in France
(as far as I know), but as it conveys an American symbolism, it is
perceived as modern. As a result, the French telecommunication
authorities created a sub domain of .fr, namely, to resolve the
problem of marks with domain names. I am sure that this would not have
happen if the symbol TM was not encoded in fonts years ago, and then
used by (mainly American) companies in their advertisement.

That's said, I have nothing against (or pro) the inclusion of American
legal symbols in Unicode. The only point is that it have been done in
the past.

> Do we want to go there?

Well, we already are there, I believe.

> Suppose Microsoft designs a symbol to represent their EULA.

European Central Bank designed a symbol two years ago; Unicode went
in a hurry to get it included. What is wrong here?

> If we asign Unicode space to Copyleft, we will have to assign one
> to EULA.

It depends of Microsoft's marketing powers (they had to be quite good
I think), but I fail to see the problem.

Remember that Microsoft already mandates me (by contract) to use TM
or (R) after every one of the occurence of Microsoft, Windows, NT etc.
in every one of the internal papers I publish... So if tomorrow there
is a new symbol to mean EULA (and acceptance of it), and that a
contract stipulates that I must use it, I fail to see how I could escape
it; then this symbol will become widely used, and a likely candidate
for inclusion in Unicode...

That is exactly what happenned with all the religious and law symbols
that already are in Unicode.

> I don't think Unicode is the place for company logos. If people want
> to use the FSF company logo (which is what copyleft is),

First, FSF is not perceived as a company, at least here, but much more
like a sect or a philosophical trend. Moreover, this is even more true
for Copyleft, which is seen by a significant part of the software
community as a way of developping software.

Next, Copyleft might be FSF company logo exactly as there are a number
of companies logos that happen to be existing symbols (often, they
are using more than one symbol).

If the symbol is encoded in Unicode, then FSF will have exactly no
control over its use and its misuses (exactly as I explained for
Copyright, TM etc.)

> they should use the private space.

I am sorry: this is totally defeating the purpose.
Yes, Apple logo is encoded in PUA, but it is also strictly prohibited
to render it if you have not a special authorisation from Apple.

Given the forcasted wide use of Copyleft, the "private agreement"
that governs PUA will tend to be very public.

If Copyleft is encoded in PUA, and if it is Unicode that mandates it,
then practically the symbol will get a "fixed" PUA codepoint (much like
the Apple logo) in the Fxxx end: this is unnamed standardisation.
Given that there are still plenty of space (for example in plane 3)...


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