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tom moody

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On the earlier comment thread(s) about Flash, Photoshop, etc. the patent issues with respect to GIFs were mentioned. A website called Burn All GIFs discusses this. In a nutshell, a particular company owned the compression tech behind GIFs and could potentially sue every website with a dancing hamster or viking kitten raising a sword. So we should, therefore, purge our sites of all GIFs in protest. But the patents affecting GIFs expired in the US in 2003 and everywhere else in 2004, so what's the problem? I can't keep track of all the moral issues I'm supposedly on the wrong side of. PNGs, the alternative to GIFs, are made with Microsoft programs (animated PNGs, anyway)--that's better? When web browsers stop recognizing GIFs we'll all move to something else. Some will spend years of their lives converting their GIFs to PNGs or whatever--now because it's the "right thing to do" or in the future because nothing will recognize GIFs. You can go insane thinking about this stuff.

Update, from the comments (well, my comment): They really should take the "Burn All GIFS" page down. Since it's not blog style, it's difficult to tell where the rabble rousing anti-GIF rhetoric stops and "never mind, the patent's expired" message starts. The website is still pushing the "switch to PNG or you will feel the licking flames of hellfire" message really strongly.

- tom moody 4-03-2006 6:08 am [link]