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CNET News: Bell Tolling for PNG Graphics Format?

Jun 10, 2003, 02:30 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Festa)


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"A patent underlying one of the Web's most popular graphics formats is set to expire later this month, raising the question of whether a rival, open format, created as a royalty-free alternative, will become obsolete.

"The situation has also rekindled debate about patents, innovation and the freedom of communication.

"In the United States, the patent for the Lempel-Ziv-Welch, or LZW, compression algorithm expires June 20. LZW forms the basis of the popular GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) design..."

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