No more JPEGs - ISO to withdraw image standard

Thanks Mr. Black for sending us this. The ISO standards body will take the unprecedented step of withdrawing the JPEG image format as a formal standard if Forgent Networks, a small Texan company, continues to demand royalties on a seventeen-year old patent.

According to Richard Clark, JPEG committee member and JPEG.org webmaster, Forgent's royalty grab - coming after two decades of royalty-free use - means that ISO is obliged to withdraw the specification.

"Under ISO terms, formally you can only have a standard you can implement on free or RAND terms. "Reasonable and non discriminatory (RAND) terms are typically published, and the same for everyone. It's clear that Forgent's claims are not RAND. $15 million doesn't sound like free to me, and Forgent is not publishing the terms of their licensing.

"ISO will withdraw the standard: JPEG will be no more," he told us. However, ISO itself cannot formally take a stance on the patent, he added.

"JPEG have traditionally tried to make it available for free; there is no JPEG LA, like the MPEG LA," he pointed out.

News source: The Reg (USA)

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