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Teetering On The Edge Of Being Obsolete, GIF Is Finally Free

Even though it is pretty much irrelevant these days it looks like the GIF patent is going to expire on 10/01 this is both good news and meh news. The good news is that you’re wandering into less sketchy territories when designing for the awfulness that IE6 represents if you need to use transparency. The PNG versus IE crappiness is probably never going to end and neither will the overuse of WYSIWYG editors that default to GIF and JPG formats. In a few short days you’ll be free to litter your own little hunk of the web with as many terrible animations and eye mauling contrasts as you feel like. It could lead to renaissance of free web pages on places like GeoCities or something. Don’t know or care but that becomes a legal option now. The bad part is that this freedom to use the format was simply the result of a patent expiring. The black boxing of such a ubiquitous format should not have been legally ambiguous for so long. It probably doesn’t make a bit of difference.

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