From the makers of Windows Refund Day, Burn All Gifs Day
Aug 29, 1999, 03:27 (36 Talkback[s])
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From their website:
Why are you people going to this company called Unisys to burn a
bunch of GIFs? What's Unisys, what's a GIF, what's the problem, and
why should I use my time and lighter fluid to do something about
(blue line on chart), once a well-known computer company, holds a
patent on a method of data compression called LZW. Other, much
better, methods of data compression are not covered by any
LZW is used in an obsolete graphic format called GIF, which many
web sites use in order to be compatible with old web browsers.
is now demanding that web sites pay them $5000 or more to use
these now-obsolete GIF graphics.
Unisys is not asking for royalty payments on products
they developed, or even on software based on their products. They
are demanding payment from web sites that use independently
developed software to create GIFs.
The fact that Unisys was able to patent LZW is due to a flaw in
the US patent system that makes even pencil-and-paper calculations
patentable. You could violate some US patents just doing the the
story problems in a math or computer science textbook! The League for Programming Freedom is
working to fix the US patent system to harmonize it with those of
other, more sensible, countries. In the meantime, Unisys's actions
are perfectly legal under US law, so the only reasonable
alternative to paying the "Unisys tax" on the web is to upgrade
graphics from GIF to PNG
On Burn All GIFs Day
all GIF users will gather at Unisys and burn all their GIF files,
freeing the web of this silly patent and this useless, litigious
company once and for all. The Unisys/CompuServe GIF
Controversy stops now.
Burn All Gifs Day