Re: CompuServe GIF Agreement

Roy T. Fielding (fielding@avron.ICS.UCI.EDU)
Tue, 10 Jan 1995 01:29:24 +0100

[moved from]

It is my opinion (and only my opinion) that the posted CompuServe GIF
Agreement does not apply to the WWW or products intended to use the WWW
for obtaining and rendering GIFs. It is clearly restricted by the
following definitions:

> 11.2. "Field of Use" means software provided by CompuServe or Developer and
> used by subscribers to the CompuServe Information Service to access the
> CompuServe Information Service or use information obtained over the
> CompuServe Information Service which utilizes the technology of the Licensed
> Patent.

> 11.6. "Products" means software that is developed or distributed under this
> Agreement which is designed for and used primarily for accessing the
> CompuServe Information Service and for manipulating and viewing data
> received
> through the CompuServe Information Service, and any new Products as may be
> added pursuant to Section 3 of this Agreement.

In other words, this is a classic "cover our asses" agreement and has
no applicability outside the domain of CompuServe.

......Roy Fielding ICS Grad Student, University of California, Irvine USA

[p.s. this message was originally sent last week, but bounced.
The opinion above was confirmed by a VP of CompuServe later
in the week on the newsgroups. I should also note that the
Unisys LZW patent is a separate issue -- whether or not it can
be successfully enforced against Web developers is unknown.]