docs/31109: [patch] replace gif images w/ png ones due to patent license

Siebrand Mazeland s.mazeland at
Mon Jan 2 18:40:08 UTC 2006

The following reply was made to PR docs/31109; it has been noted by GNATS.

From: "Siebrand Mazeland" <s.mazeland at>
To: <bug-followup at>, <cyrille.lefevre at>
Subject: Re: docs/31109: [patch] replace gif images w/ png ones due to patent license
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 19:38:38 +0100

 The GNU Project has some nice proze on this topic (last updated 2005/10/31).
 Why no GIFs: "There are no GIFs on the GNU web site because of the patents
 (Unisys and IBM) covering the LZW compression algorithm which is used in
 making GIF files. These patents make it impossible to have free software to
 generate proper GIFs. [...] For more information about the GIF patent
 problems, see the League for Programming Freedom GIF page[1]. Through that
 page you can find more information about the problem of software patents in
 When will creating 'real' GIFs probably be safe: "Of the places whose patent
 databases we were able to search, the latest expiration date seems to be
 Friday 11 August 2006. Until then, anyone who releases a free program for
 making GIF files is likely to be sued. We don't know any reason to think
 that the patent owners would lose these lawsuits."
 This issue can be closed on Saturday 12 August 2006. How bad has who been
 before that?

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