brainstorming: which formats to use and which to avoid

Bernhard Herzog bh at
Mon Jun 11 13:00:19 UTC 2001

David Mentre <David.Mentre at> writes:

> Werner Koch <wk at> writes:
> > Documents - Whitelist
> > 
> >   PDF   according to specs ... but w/o the options ...
> I would put PDF on blacklist. As far as I know, compression scheme used
> in PDF is patended. Therefore, no free software can produce PDF
> documents of proper size. [Of course, I can be wrong]

Only one of the compression schemes is patented, namely LZW (the same as
commonly used in GIF). PDF also support Flate-compression which is the
same as in zlib.

However, some parts of PDF 1.3 (and later) are subject to patents held
by Adobe and while Adobe grants "a royalty-free, non-exclusive basis for
the term of each patent", one may only use them "for the sole purpose of
developing software that produces, consumes, and interprets PDF files
that are compliant with the Specification". More info at


Intevation GmbH                       

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