brainstorming: which formats to use and which to avoid

Simone Piccardi piccardi at
Mon Jun 11 10:49:20 UTC 2001

On Mon, Jun 11, 2001 at 11:50:24AM +0200, Georg C. F. Greve wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> Reinhard Wiesemann has approached the FSF Europe with the idea to
> create a poster that informs about the dangers of proprietary and
> closed formats and has two sides. One in red that lists the ones to
> avoid and one in green that lists the ones to prefer.

There is an (extremely short) list on
for patent-free protocols, but they are protocols, not formats.

The Ogg format (Vorbis and Tarkin) and html are the only data format
that I know to be patent-free (but I'm not an expert). Probably you
can consider free also the data format used by some free programs
(like gnumeric) and based on XML, but again I never heard anything on
patent "freedomness" (dont' know how to say, my english is orrible) of

I think that patents can be the major problem on making such a list;
there are "open" format, like PDF and PS, but I don't know if they are
patent-free, so probably it can be useful to have have a little more
complex classification (something like closed, open, free) and clearly
last ones should be preferred in any case.


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