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Markus Kuhn Markus.Kuhn at
Fri Feb 4 18:22:20 UTC 2000

"Greg FitzPatrick" wrote on 2000-02-04 16:53 UTC:
> Because otherwise people wont know who to sue!

So what we have to do is to transform the Olson group into something
that looks like a sue-able entity, but nevertheless isn't sue-able.

There was actually some time ago already a discussion on the tz
mailing list to set up something that could be called the

  International Time Zone Information Centre

with a quotable web page, postal address, etc. It would essentially be
the old Olson Group, but there would be something like an "Annual Time
Zone Newsletter" that will be sent freely to places such as various
government ministries, intelligence agencies, news agencies, airline and
telecommunications associations (IATA, ITU, etc.), etc. The goal would
be to create a point of contact where governments and observers of
governments could centrally report time zone changes and also make sure
that knowledge of the centre and its current data base content spreads
to the right places.

The basic idea seemed to have been quite agreeable, but in the end there
simply wasn't anyone volunteering to handle the bureaucracy necessary to
set up such a small institution. If two or three industrial sponsors
would come forward to cover the in the end surely quite marginal running
costs of such a small organization, I am sure it would be possible to
set up a suitable quotable but not quite sueable body.

Publishing a single-page ISO standard that designates the named
organization to be the keeper of the ISO 16xyz time zone database would
surely sprinkle sufficient official magic around the entire thing to
keep even hard-line bureaucrats happy.


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at,  WWW: <>

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