Re: GIF announcement from CompuServe

Adrian John Howard (
Mon, 9 Jan 1995 23:58:39 +0100

> From:
> Alex Hopmann writes:
> > I can go on at much more length about the details of all this stuff, but my
> > conclusion is that GIF is gone as a standard image format. All of my
> > information comes from official documents posted by CompuServe on their own
> > service.
> Maybe as a result server administrators will configure their server in
> such a way that connections to compuserve addresses are denied (this is
> fairly easy). Thus, Compu$erve can be kept from making money by selling
> access to WWW - when at the same time they screw with Web developers
> and users through such an incredible move. Grrr.

Before this goes much further I recommend people *read* :-)

for information on Unisys's attitude to the use of LZW, along with

for Compuserve's response to the new licencing deal.

As I read it Compuserve will only be charging *commercial*developers* of
programs which use GIF images whose programs are written after Jan 31st
1995. According their press release "CompuServe will not profit from
this service".

There is no general charge for storing GIFs or pulling them down from
other sites. This whole deal has been massively overhyped and there is a
lot of misinformation going around.

[BTW this in no way implies that I approve of Unisys's patenting of LZW
and the way they and Compuserve have handled the GIF issue. I also think
the development of a public domain GIF alternative could well be a good

Oh yes, for those proposing JPEG as an alternative --- I'm fairly sure
that IBM holds patents on the compression algorithms used :-)


aids ( ObDisclamer: Poplog used to pay my wages
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