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SubjectRe: bzip2 patent status query
On Wed, Jul 10, 2002 at 04:54:51PM +0100, jbradford@dial.pipex.com wrote:
> Is bzip2 *definitely* patent-unencumbered?
> It claims to be on it's home page, but I found this from the OpenBSD people:
> http://www.openbsd.org/2.8_packages/m68k/bzip-0.21.tgz-long.html

If you read a little further on the bzip pages, you would find that the
reason bzip2 and bzip are incompatible, is because bzip was found to be
patent-encumbered. The search for a better compression algorithm, that
wasn't covered by a patent began...

I actually remember when the original sources for the block sorter
compression program were posted to comp.sources.misc or somewhere
similar. The original impression most people had was 'this algorithm
is a hoax... it can't compress...' And so, I believe, nobody bothered
to patent it. :-)

mark

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