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TCP-group 1995

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Re: LPF Statement on the GIF controversy (LZW patent)

My mailer said Olaf Erb said this:
> Does this apply to us? (Thinking about NOS and LZW..)
[lots of LZW patent stuff deleted]

Someone sent me a copy of a message about how Unisys was going to
handle this LZW and GIF stuff (sorry, I don't have it anymore) and
basically what they are doing is that any software that was
written before 1995 or any software that is given away freely is
exempt from having to pay royalties. You can write a GIF viewer
today and give it out and not pay anything to Unisys. But if 
you sell it then you must pay Unisys.

I don't know why it took so long for Unisys to decide to start
cracking down on people using LZW, but they only seem to be out
trying to catch people making money off of the compression, not
trying to get people who give the software away or allow others
to use it for  free (like what we typically do with NOS). I
doubt they'll bother with NOS.


Ron Atkinson  N8FOW

AMPRnet  : n8fow@wsu.n8fow.ampr.org
Internet : ron@chaos.eng.wayne.edu

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