xml cover page weighs in on the ISO royalty argument with a detailed article.
the more i think and read about this, the more bizarre it sounds. the i18n community's been urged to adopt the ISO codes as standards--swell, we all like standards. but lets take a quick peek at how these ISO standards came about. dozens of individuals in the i18n community contributed ideas and information to the development of these standards. many of these same folks fought the good fight for their adoption (and i rather doubt any of those folks will see a thin dime of royalties if it indeed comes to pass). and to top it off, some of the ISO material duplicates pre-existing information. now that the scale's been tipped in ISO's favor, it seems its time to pay up (or from the goodfella school of business, "screw you, pay me").
this may sound like a tempest in a teapot to non-i18n cf folks, but as the xml cover page article above points out, what if the US post office suddenly announced "hey all you meatballs using 2-letter abbreviations for state names, thanks for adopting our standards, you now owe us money for using them, screw you, pay up".
mark davis, unicode president and IBM's i18n frontman (and unicode/i18n guru), thinks this proposal will 'die a well-deserved death.' but he goes on to point out that this was a serious ISO proposal and needs a serious response from the i18n community.
so gather your pitchforks and torches folks, the monster's escaped the lab again.