Ode to LZW Compression

Abe Lempel, Jacob Ziv and Terry Welch
Discovered a neat algorithm to squelch
CompuServe incorporated it into the GIF
Good programmers soon caught the drift
The format was published, free and open
Many useful things started to happen
Then Unisys Corp purchased the rights
And changed the terms on LZW overnight
The useful algorithm was off limits
Ransom to corporate greed and profits
On June 20, 2003, the LZW patent expired
Shame on Unisys for what has transpired
Someday Unisys books will be in arrears
While the ideas of LZW survive the years

Funny. From Slashdot.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.