GIFs in the tcm binary package

Benjamin Riefenstahl
Mon Sep 29 13:11:00 GMT 2003

Hi Ronald,

Ronald Landheer-Cieslak <> writes:
> I thought (but am by no means certain) that the algorithm for
> decompressing LZW is also covered by the patent, in which case you'd
> need a license for any software that decompresses it as well.

It is covered by the patent of course, but as I understand it, Unisys
doesn't require license fees for decompressing GIFs, making
decompressing free (as in "free beer").  And as Daniel said,
distribution of GIFs alone probably doesn't touch the patent anyway.

> Again, IANAL - I was just worried that someone might get into
> trouble...

And I think it's good to try to understand these things.

Also, as Unisys can change their mind at any time, one may not want to
use GIFs anyway.  Or one may not like it because using GIFs cost
headaches and discussions like these, and PNGs don't.


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