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Re: [gNewSense-users] Is ZIP a free file format?

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Is ZIP a free file format?
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 20:32:20 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090711)

Luis Felipe Lopez Acevedo schreef:
El mié, 26-08-2009 a las 22:22 -0300, Victor Cortiano escribió:
ZIP is fully documented since its creation, despite the first
implementation (PKZIP) being proprietary software.

Where can I find that documentation? I only found a specification that I
think is not free[1].


It looks like that specification (more precisely [1]) is the full documentation. But fully documented is not the same as free.

The spec is published under plain old copyright, so unauthorized copying is not allowed. That is at least annoying. But the bigger problem is section X of the spec, which says that the implementation of certain parts of it requires a license. However, I fail to see on what grounds this requirement is based, as the spec doesn't refer to any patents.

So I think we can say that it's not completely free. Free software that uses it (IceCat,, OpenJDK) probably only implements the "safe" parts.


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