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> GIF license and uncompressed GIFs
timur
post Apr 19 2000, 06:16 AM
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I understand that PMView has a full license for the Unisys patented compression used in GIFs. I heard that recently Unisys is trying to make things more difficult to license the technology. Is PMView affected by these license changes?

Also, it appears that it's possible to make GIFs that don't use Unisys's compression. I don't know if it's possible to use a different compression algorithm, but you can make uncompressed GIFs. I didn't see any option for uncomressed GIFs in PMView. I think it should be an option.
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Peter
post Apr 19 2000, 11:46 PM
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Unisys has not contacted us, nor has it informed us about any changes to our license agreement. Unless Unisys contacts us for changes to our license agreement, PMView remains unaffected.

I doubt Unisys is trying to make it more difficult to license it. HOWEVER, I've also heard rumours about that they're less flexible in their license agreement nowadays. We have a license from the very beginning when Unisys started to enforce their patent (1995). One important amendment to our license is that we are allowed to give licensed users free-of-charge upgrades (i.e. the lifetime upgrades). Another amendment to our Unisys license is to allow the end user to make backup copies of their software. Neither of these two issues are permitted by the standard license agreement. If Unisys is less flexible with agreements signed today, I can surely imagine that it poses problems. (Who would want to sell software of which it is illegal to make backup copies because of the Unisys license?)

FWIW, the Unisys patent will expire on June 21, 2003, so I think that Unisys may be desperate to collect all money they can get now...

Why would you like to make uncompressed GIFs when PMView has the license required? (Anyway, I like the idea and I'll consider adding this as an option.)


[This message has been edited by Peter (edited April 20, 2000).]


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Peter Nielsen (peter@pmview.com) "If you can dream it, you can do it" JFK.
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Peter
post May 2 2000, 08:33 AM
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I just read that nowadays Unisys charges a US $5,000 initial payment when you want to license LZW codec. Fortunately this was not the case when we did it. If I recall correctly, there was no initial payment at the time we got our license.

I guess this explains why some people say that Unisys is making it "more difficult" to get a license. I sure can imagine that the $5k initial payment makes it "more difficult"...

Peter


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Peter Nielsen (peter@pmview.com) "If you can dream it, you can do it" JFK.
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