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Volume 1 / Issue 5

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-001-05-0312


Software Patents and The Internet

Jenny Shearer (HyperMedia Unit, University of Auckland, New Zealand)

Arnould Vermeer (Practical Computer Science 1, University of Hagen, Germany)

Abstract: The attempt by Unisys to obtain royalties from the Lempel Zev Welch Graphics Interchange Format specification through Compuserve has wide implications for the Internet. Increased activity in the US software patents area is likely to result in damage to progress of the software arts and the Internet, and to generate upscaled protest from Internet users. The LZW GIF case highlights the Internet culture in favour of free and unfettered development. Clarification of this important principle will have a major effect on the future of the Internet.

Keywords: Compuserve, Internet, LZW GIF, Software patents, Unisys, debate

Categories: K.0, K.4.1, K.5.1, K.5.2, K.6.3