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Re: let's get rid of image/gif

1995-01-08 04:44:40
On Sun, 8 Jan 1995 01:11:26 -0500, moore(_at_)cs(_dot_)utk(_dot_)edu said:

Keith> I just heard that Unisys is now insisting that
Keith> implementors of GIF get a license from them and pay them a
Keith> royalty.  Seems GIF uses LZW compression, for which Unisys
Keith> claims to have a patent.

While that is true, it has no direct bearing on the use of
image/gif in MIME.  The 'implementors' of GIF are those produce
GIFs, not those who display them.  This goes directly back to the
LZW patent, which only covers compression, not decompression.
(That's also why the FSF's gzip can decompress LZW-compressed
files, but doesn't produce them.)

While this does put a crimp on producing GIFs (legally, at
least), it is still true that displaying them and copying them
are operations which do not make use of patented technology.

For additional information, see recent issues of the Risks digest.

Keith> Let's stamp out software patents in our lifetime.

On the other hand, I still agree with Keith on this point.

Spider Boardman                                 
speaking only for myself                        ...!decvax!orb!spider