[Wikipedia-l] Re: PNG format???

Jimmy Wales jwales at bomis.com
Thu Aug 7 11:52:08 UTC 2003

Timwi wrote:
> GIF is (currently) patent-contaminated and therefore cannot be used
> with GFDL),

Under my understanding, this is not completely correct.  The patent
situation pertains to software to create the images, not the images
themselves.  If someone uses properly licensed software to create the
gif images, then there are no license compatibility issues involved
with redistribution.

Having said that, I generally agree with the FSF policy -- "But we
feel that if we can't distribute the software to enable people to
generate GIF files properly, then we should not have other people run
such software for us."

So I think we should disfavor gifs.  But let's not imagine that we are
forced to do so by the terms fo the GNU FDL.  

Also, the FSF says:
"We were able to search the patent databases of the USA, Canada, Japan,
and the European Union. The Unisys patent expired on 20 June 2003 in
the USA, but it does not expire in most of Europe until 18 June 2004,
in Japan until 20 June 2004 and in Canada until 7 July 2004."

So, the whole thing will be history soon anyway.


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