Open vs proprietary

Real standards are open standards : documentation and basic code should be Royalties-Free, with no patent in the way.

Proprietary format may be sometimes considered as "defacto standard", but are not real standard

Proprietary format and patent are a threat to the free access to your own data !

Gif vs PNG : patents (Unisys and IBM) cover the LZW compression algorithm which is used in making GIF

The Unisys patent expired on 20 June 2003 in the USA, in Europe it expired on 18 June 2004, in Japan patent expired on 20 June 2004 and in Canada until 7 July 2004. The U.S. IBM patent expires 11 August 2006,

GIF Image Format (Unisys), Hyperlinking/Hypertext (British Telecom), JPEG (Forgent Networks), MPEG-4 (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11), W3C P3P (Intermind), RDF (Unified Data Technologies, Ltd.), Rights Expression Language (ContentGuard's XrML), Stylesheets: CSS, XSL (Microsoft), XPointer (Sun Microsystems)

A vicious way to enter open standards : RAND "reasonable and non-discriminatory" fees

This week reading :

Patents and Open Standards :