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Update: ISO emphasises free-of-charge use of its country, currency and language codes.

In a further clarification of its position, ISO now emphasises the free use of its country, currency and language codes, even by commercial software developers.

Compared to the clarification that we reported on earlier, there is a subtle but crucial change of emphasis: the earlier clarification says that "software developers or commercial resellers requesting permission to embed the data elements contained in an ISO Code in their products for resale" would be asked to pay.

The new press release says that "There is no proposal currently being considered by ISO to impose charges for use of these codes, including on the World Wide Web and in software applications."

The problem is really with how badly ISO wants commercial developers to pay for the standard, or services relating to the standard. In essence, ISO's thinking is that if you advertise anywhere that you comply with the ISO country, currency and language codes, you ought to buy the standards, because you use the codes to add value to your product. Since it is their main revenue stream to support the process, they just don't want to suggest anywhere that commercial developers can get the codes for free off the website, just like everybody else.

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