[linux-elitists] Burn All JPEGs?

David D. Scribner dscribner@bigfoot.com
Sat Apr 24 14:35:42 PDT 2004

Mikael Pawlo [mikael@pawlo.com] wrote:
> How bad is this?
> "Forgent Networks said Friday it sued 31 major hardware and software
> vendors, including Dell and Apple Computers, for allegedly infringing on
> its claim to an algorithm used in the popular JPEG picture file format."
> http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,63200,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1

Personally I think is sucks, but they're not the first to pull this kind
of "stunt" (wait until their product/service/algo becomes "entrenched"
before they started charging for it).

The only smile from me that came from that news is when Joe Bar posted
on Newsforge
a question to Michael Noonan about what this will do to the
GIMP. Noonan's reply was "That's a difficult question, I don't have the
answer to that. I have to defer that to our legal team. Of course, just to
be safe, it might be wise for the GIMP developers (as well as all other open
source image processing projects which use JPG) to volunteer to donate a
percentage of their revenues to Forgent Networks." I can just see all
that "revenue" pouring in now. ;)

But, it just goes to show that without truly open _and_ patent free
algos in your project, you run the risk of having the rug pulled out
from underneath you, no matter who says it won't happen. I'm at the
point now that I could care less if IE doesn't know how to properly
display PNGs... I'll just add a footer on web pages stating that due to
faulty Microsoft software coding in IE, visitors should seriously
consider upgrading their browser to Mozilla, Firefox or a host of other
browsers that far outshine the junky IE they're currently using.

My 2c's.

David D. Scribner
dscribner@bigfoot.com     http://www.bigfoot.com/~dscribner/
GnuPG/PGP: 3172 7408 58CA D9C2 F697  950F 9DDC 7AC7 91EC 5F06
"Microsoft likes to discard vulnerabilities by "no standard client
would do this." No, and no "standard visitor" would apply a crowbar
to your patio door, either."
     -- H. Peter Anvin (on IE6 problems with Linux servers)

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