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GIF Patent Problems and the Language Viewer
It has come to my attention that both Unisys and IBM
have patents on the Lempel Ziv Welch (LZW) data
compression and decompression algorithm that is used
in GIF files. The language viewer in the
access gateway uses GIF files for its foreign
characters. Many users rely on this because
their browsers are old or limited and cannot display
the PNG format. Therefore, I have modified the
GIF files so that they do not use the Lempel Ziv
Welch (LZW) data compression algorithm and do not
infringe the patents on that algorithm. The
files are larger, but they do not infringe.
(The patents should now have expired, but I'm no longer actively maintaining the language viewer images so I have no plans to reverse the above change. Web Adjuster has more modern image rendering.)
See also my essay on software patents and mental health
which was prompted by the news about US patent 5,893,120 making it supposedly illegal to use a computer with a modern operating system.
All material © Silas S. Brown unless otherwise stated.