LZW

Short for Lempel-Zif-Welch, a popular data compression technique developed in 1977 by J. Ziv and A Lempel, and later refined by Terry Welch. It is the compression algorithm used in the GIF graphics file format, which is one of the standard graphic formats used by CompuServe and the World Wide Web.

The patent for LZW is owned by Unisys, which for many years allowed anyone to use the algorithm for free. Then in 1995, Unisys suddenly decided to charge a license fee. There was an uproar from the Compuserve and Web communities, and Unisys backed down somewhat, though they still enforce the licensing requirement for commercial applications.

Webopedia Staff
Webopedia Staff
Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

Related Articles

AutoIt Scripting Language

AutoIt is a popular and easy-to-learn scripting language used by developers since 1999 for quick software development. Here’s more about AutoIt scripting language, its...

Sales CRM

A sales CRM, or customer relationship management (CRM) tool for sales, is frequently the centerpiece of sales operations for a variety of business use...

HighLevel CRM

HighLevel is a sales and marketing customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed by the company HighLevel. Because it's uniquely designed for marketing agencies, HighLevel...

CRM Manager

A customer relationship management (CRM) manager is a person that oversees all customer and client relations within a business. They specialize in customer interactions...

AutoIt Scripting Language

AutoIt is a popular and easy-to-learn scripting language used by developers since 1999...

HighLevel CRM

HighLevel is a sales and marketing customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed by...

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)

As enterprise networks become increasingly distributed with growing numbers of remote workers, unified...