W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org > October 2001

Re: Learn from recent history.

From: Daniel Phillips <phillips@bonn-fries.net>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 23:09:42 +0200
To: Glenn Randers-Pehrson <glennrp@home.com>, www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <20011003210948Z16399-17200+361@humbolt.nl.linux.org>
On October 3, 2001 05:09 pm, Glenn Randers-Pehrson wrote:
> >Do you remember what happened to GIF as a format? Everyone used it, but as
> >the patent was called and it started to cost, it virtually vanished within
> >a month.
> Nothing of the sort actually happened.  GIF is still going strong.
> Commercial software developers paid the tribute.  Support of GIF's
> replacement, PNG by the major browser makers has been abysmal, even
> though PNG was released as W3C's first Recommendation 5 years ago.
> Freeware developers, however, were forced to drop GIF support.  DuPont,
> for example, was forced by UniSys to stop distributing ImageMagick,
> and ImageMagick was forced to stop distributing binaries with LZW
> support.
> Glenn Randers-Pehrson (PNG, MNG, libpng, pngcrush, ImageMagick)

Yes, sad but true.  It is for this reason that we must not allow SVG in its 
current RAND-tainted form to become a defacto standard, or to be perceived by 
the public as a standard.

Given the near-universal sense of outrage that has been expressed so far it 
is not unreasonable to assume that the non-technical public, too, will be 
able to grasp the issues and will respond as we have.

For non-technical web users, it comes down to a question of whether they are 
happy to be forced to pay for something that is normally free, like the air 
we breathe.

Received on Wednesday, 3 October 2001 17:09:57 UTC

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