[MUD-Dev] Re: MAPPING: Creating a bitmaped graphic from map

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Fri Apr 24 00:13:49 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On 11:40 PM 4/23/98 +00-05, I personally witnessed Jon A. Lambert jumping
up to say:
>It's an older format GIF-89 and appears to be free of restrictions.  

Just a quick clarifying note: ALL versions of the GIF format are LZW
compressed, and therefore no version is 'free of restrictions'. It's still
worth noting that Unisys (or did the patent change hands again?) has never
to my knowledge harassed anyone about it unless they were making tons of
money, and that they've publicly stated something like 'we will let certain
educational nonprofit low-return and individual software developer type
people use it without royalties for now', basically meaning 'if we decide
to charge you money, we can, but we feel like being magnanimous... today'.
The patent expires in either 2002 or 2006 depending on who you talk to.
Personally, I don't think GIF presents significant difficulties to any
non-commercial venture, but commercial or corporate development should
probably be undertaken very carefully. I don't think the royalties are
prohibitive, in any case. 

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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