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20020925: GIF (tm) format from McIDAS software

>From: Eirh-Yu Hsie <address@hidden>
>Organization: Aeronomy Laboratory/NOAA/DOC
>Keywords: 200209251720.g8PHK0121091 McIDAS-X GIF


>Does McIDAS software have license to use the GIF format?

There is no explicit license by SSEC to use GIF (tm) that I know of
(but I could be wrong).  Unidata sites should be exempted from GIF
licensing fees if I understand the Unisys statment of clarification on
the GIF patent correctly:

Unisys Clarifies Policy Regarding Patent Use in On-Line Service Offerings

In particular, paragraphs 10 and 11 of the above document seem to
explicitly exclude not-for-profit use of the GIF standard:

"Concerning all future software product development and enhancement of
existing products for accessing on-line services, Unisys expects
developers of commercial, for-profit software to secure a license from
Unisys, or through the licensed on-line service, for the use of the
patented technology. The very reasonable terms should prove no
financial barrier to the introduction of product into the on-line

Unisys does not require licensing, or fees to be paid, for
non-commercial, non-profit GIF-based applications, including those for
use on the on-line services."

I recommend that if you have concerns about use of GIF by your shop,
you should use one of the other formats to which McIDAS products can be
saved using the FRMSAVE command:

PPM         - portable pixmap
BMP         - bitmap
JPG         - JPEG
PS, and CPS - PostScript and color PostScript

I hope that this satisfactorily answers your concerns.

Tom Yoksas

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