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From: Glenn Randers-Pehrson <glennrp@home.com>
Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 10:04:59 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Chris Lilley wrote:
>Ok, so could you explain how 'nothing at all' is better? I just posted a
>'what-if' regarding GIF and what would have happened had GIF been
>developed at W3C and had the PPF been in place as policy. The situation
>when GIF was actually developed was 'nothing at all' - no agreement from
>anyone regarding any license terms, no call for any disclosure of
>patents, and thus no legal repercussions for failure to disclose.
>Which resulted in a bunch of open source work ceasing and some shareware
>companies going out of business as the license terms eventually imposed
>were not RAND or RF.
>Do you agree with this analysis?

The analysis is fine, but the final solution is no good.  In your
hypothetical what-if, instead of rolling over and allowing UniSys to
RAND-license GIF, W3C should have decided, "Ok, we can't use LZW
compression in GIF, because it is a public standard.  Let's find a
workaround." GIF would have ended up being RF, with the DEFLATE
compression instead of LZW.

Glenn (IANAL)
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2001 10:07:47 UTC

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