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Call for color management firms to drop restrictions on exchange of profiles

Press release from the issuing company

September 4, 2003 -- Two leading organizations promoting better color management in printing are calling on vendors of International Color Consortium (ICC) profiles and profile-building software to eliminate restrictive license language that prevents customers from exchanging profiles with others or embedding them in job files. The ICC and Technical Committee 130 (Graphic Technology) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) joined in a letter to vendors urging this modification of customer licenses. The organizations’ concern focuses on clauses in vendors’ licenses for profiles and software that prohibit their customers from distributing the profiles to third parties. Such restrictive clauses in licenses hamper effective all-digital workflows and “are therefore too restrictive for many customer workflow procedures, particularly procedures that are using file formats defined in the PDF/X family of International Standards,” the letter says. “In some cases,” it continues, “these standards may require the embedding of output profiles, or both input and output profiles with the data being exchanged. Moreover, because these standards define file formats for data exchange they will normally involve exchanges between unrelated organizations. In many situations, the sender in these ‘open’ exchanges (e.g., publication advertising) may not even be able to identify all of the recipients.” The solution proposed by the two organizations is for vendors to explicitly permit customers to exchange or embed profiles “for rendering and/or processing of the specific objects to which they are related. We believe that this change will reflect business reality,” the letter states. TC 130 and ICC are asking all vendors to review their policies and take steps to “insure that your profiles can be used in compliance with international standards and to support open color managed data exchange.” The International Color Consortium was established in 1993 to create, promote and encourage the standardization and evolution of an open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management system architecture and components. The outcome of this cooperation was development of the ICC profile specification, now in use by leading vendors of color management solutions. ICC regular membership now includes 67 companies and organizations, in addition to four honorary members and seven liaison members.  NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies serves as ICC’s administrative secretariat. For more information, visit the ICC web site at www.color.org.