(Fwd) JPG licensing?

Subject: (Fwd) JPG licensing?
From: "Peter Ring, PRC" <prc -at- ISA -dot- DKNET -dot- DK>
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 1998 08:58:01 +1

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From: "Geoff Hart" <geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>
To: prc -at- isa -dot- dknet -dot- dk
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 16:29:36 +0000
Subject: JPG licensing?
Reply-to: geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Priority: normal


If you don't get any replies, please post this to techwr-l for
feedback and confirmation; I can't post directly. Thanks!


Peter Ring wondered if there was any restriction on including JPG
files with a commercial product. Peter, I'm not aware of any
licensing requirements for the graphics format, which was produced as
a standard by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG); JPG is the
short form of this acronym intended to let you use it as a file
extension for DOS and Win3.1 systems, which only permit a
three-letter suffix to filenames. If you're including someone else's
_algorithm_ for displaying the files, then of course any software
that uses the algorithm will need to license it from the owner of the
algorithm... but I suspect most software development packages have
already done this for you. RTFM! <g> Don't treat this as definitive,
though; I've read lots about JPEG, and haven't seen any indications
of licensing requirements, but I also haven't tried to distribute a
JPEG viewer.

I suspect your colleague may be thinking of the GIF (graphics
interchange format), which was inadvertently released into the public
domain without the permission of the holder of the rights to the
format. (The owner may be CompuServe, but it's late Friday and
my brain is fading fast. Someone should be able to confirm this.) The
owner of the rights to GIF did try to impose some form of licensing
agreement on developers of GIF viewers, but I'm not sure whether they
succeeded. Again, someone on techwr-l should be able to confirm this.
--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

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