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Free GIFs

The patent covering the algorithm used in the GIF format expired yesterday last week in Japan, UK, France, Germany and Italy. While this may not seem like big news to everyone, it was a huge problem when Unisys started enforcing this patent a couple of years ago. A lot of software (especially free software) stopped having the option to save files to the GIF format, which really sucked if you were doing Web design on the cheap. It also lead to numerous gif burning campaigns..

The patent is still active in some other countries (Canada), but I hope that the GIF format will start appearing in free programs once more.

More info

Update: heavily updated with correct info after better reading of post thanks to bp.

Comments (1)

bp Author Profile Page:

Actually, it expired in the US a year ago. It looks like Canada is the only place where it's still in effect, according to your linked articles.

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