Has CompuServe lost its ability to license GIF?

Paul Hoffman (ietf-lists@proper.com)
Mon, 2 Jan 95 20:10:04 EST

By having promulgated the GIF standard for so many years without any
mention of possible licensing issues, CompuServe has probably lost its
ability to enforce any licensing. Unisys might have some argument based on
patent issues, but by waiting for years before mentioning any restrictive
licensing, CompuServe has led many people into unwittingly relying on the

BTW, in the current edition of the CompuServeCD, produced by CompuServe
themselves, they call GIF "the current 'standard' for viewing images in the
online environment." Not on CompuServe, but "the online environment".

This, of course, doesn't prevent CompuServe from going out and suing
people, but I can't really imagine that they would want to take on that
kind of public relations grief. Even Unisys would be foolish to try using
ugly lawsuits at this point.

--Paul Hoffman
--Proper Publishing