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Free File Formats

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Quote:
Original post by Tang of the Mountain
all file formats are free for use...you can use all you want, but for things like psd and xml...you cant change them in any form without getting consent...


Thats actually wrong, some file formats use specific algorithms to create/use and you have to pay in order to use them. For example gif files use LZW compression which is owned by Unisys. As such it isn't free to use.

Anyway, to the OP both .x and .png files are free to use. Although there is a debate as to whether part of the png format is owned by a couple of companies including Apple. But last time I checked, both were fine to use.

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Those files formats are in the public domain and implementing an encoder/decoder requires no patented algorithms.

Quote:

xml...you cant change them in any form without getting consent...


What makes you think that?

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Quote:
I now that I can not use them all freely!
mp3 is not free, that's why people use ogg


It depends. Where do you live? The EU doesn't enforce software patents, and for good reason...

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Quote:
Original post by Kalasjniekof
It depends. Where do you live? The EU doesn't enforce software patents, and for good reason...


Just because the EU doesn't enforce them doesn't make them any less illegal or wrong.

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Quote:
Original post by Tang of the Mountain
... but for things like psd and xml...you cant change them in any form without getting consent...

XML? That is absurd.

Quote:
Original post by TheFez6255
...Although there is a debate as to whether part of the png format is owned by a couple of companies including Apple...

That's strange because the entire purpose of PNG was to get around the GIF patent.



Anyway, while algorithms may be patented, I've never heard of a file format (i.e. the layout of the data in a file) being patented, though I suppose it might be possible.

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Quote:
Original post by H_o_p_s
Quote:
Original post by Kalasjniekof
It depends. Where do you live? The EU doesn't enforce software patents, and for good reason...


Just because the EU doesn't enforce them doesn't make them any less illegal or wrong.


What? That's a complete non sequitur. The fact that the EU does not [yet] mandate software patent conformity with the US simply means that it's up to individual nations. In jurisdictions where software patents don't exist, it of course does make it 'less illegal.' It's exactly what it does. As to whether or not that's wrong is an entirely different discussion, and I'd rather not open that can of worms.

In short, yes, in certain places you may use certain formats without obtaining an explicit legal license from the format's authors.

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