Search /
Docfinder:
Advanced search  |  Help  |  Site map
RESEARCH CENTERS
SITE RESOURCES
Click for Layer 8! No, really, click NOW!
Networking for Small Business
TODAY'S NEWS
Heartbleed bug is irritating McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky Lab
Server makers rushing out Heartbleed patches
6 Social Media Mistakes That Will Kill Your Career
Canonical's new Ubuntu focuses on the long haul
4 Qualities to Look for in a Data Scientist
Big bucks going to universities to solve pressing cybersecurity issues
Mozilla appoints former marketing head to interim CEO
Box patches Heartbleed flaw in its cloud storage systems
Obama administration backs disclosing software vulnerabilities in most cases
6 Amazing Advances in Cloud Technology
Collaboration 2.0: Old meets new
Data breaches nail more US Internet users, regulation support rises
With a Wi-Fi cloud service, Ruckus aims to help hotspot owners make money
How to get Windows Phone 8.1 today
Secure browsers offer alternatives to Chrome, IE and Firefox
10 Big Data startups to watch
Big data drives 47% growth for top 50 public cloud companies
Here are the options with Heartbleed-flawed networking gear (Hint: there aren't many)
Akamai admits its OpenSSL patch was faulty, reissues keys
Second Google Glass user attacked in San Francisco in two months
Microsoft puts the squeeze on Windows to shoehorn it into 16GB devices
An unnecessary path to tech: A Bachelor's degree
Heartbleed Bug hits at heart of many Cisco, Juniper products


/
Send to a friend Feedback

Adobe, Xerox tiff slows Internet fax standard

Related linksToday's breaking news
Send to a friendFeedback


The Internet Engineering Task Force has slammed the brakes on its plans to develop a common way of sending faxes over the Internet, due to last-minute licensing problems between rivals Adobe Systems and Xerox.

After five years of development, the IETF's Internet Fax working group was ready to publish a series of documents as draft standards. But the documents, which rely heavily on technology from Adobe and Xerox, were put on hold Monday pending a review of intellectual property claims.

At issue is the working group's plan to use Adobe's Tag Image File Format (TIFF) to represent the content and structure of fax communications sent as e-mail messages over the 'Net. The IETF chose TIFF because it is widely supported in e-mail clients, fax machines and fax applications. However, TIFF supports only black and white documents.

The IETF working group extended TIFF to support color documents using encoding technology called Mixed Raster Content (MRC) from Xerox. The resulting protocol was dubbed TIFF-FX for TIFF for Fax Extended. Authors of the TIFF-FX document, which was written last November, include engineers from Adobe, Xerox, Nortel and Brooktrout.

However, Adobe now claims that the IETF has overstepped its bounds in using its TIFF technology in TIFF-FX. Adobe refuses to support TIFF-FX unless Xerox releases rights for its MRC technology to Adobe.

Xerox, meanwhile, won't back TIFF-FX unless Adobe promises to support the standard in its next version of TIFF, TIFF 7.0, which Adobe hasn't committed to ship.

"We've gotten ourselves into a scary situation," says John Klensin, chair of the IETF's Internet Architecture Board and vice president for Internet architecture at AT&T. Klensin asked the Internet Fax working group to review its decision-making process to be sure that it wants to go forward with TIFF-FX.

"It's late in the game ... and we're at a dead stop," Klensin admits.

In addition to the intellectual property problems, the Internet Fax working group is facing criticism because it didn't design TIFF-FX to work with Adobe's current version of TIFF.

"I'm seriously annoyed by the [intellectual property rights] issues, but I'm even more concerned about the lack of interoperability," Klensin adds.

While the IETF regularly faces licensing issues, the Adobe/Xerox wrangling was a surprise because both companies agreed several years ago to contribute technology to TIFF-FX.

"Never, in my experience, has the IETF seen such a ridiculous flap over intellectual property rights," says Ned Freed, co-chair of the IETF's Applications Area, which oversees the Internet Fax working group. Freed is a distinguished engineer with Sun.

The IETF's Internet Fax working group is designing protocols that allow companies to send and receive faxes over the Internet at a lesser cost than transmitting over the telephone system. Internet Fax allows end users to send or receive faxes as e-mail attachments or as hard copy documents printed out by Internet-enabled fax machines.

Two dozen members of the Internet Fax working group gathered at the meeting here decided to review and revamp the TIFF-FX documents with the Adobe/Xerox controversy in mind. The likely solution is for the group to replace TIFF-FX with plain old TIFF, which eliminates Adobe's intellectual property concerns and offers interoperability with existing TIFF-based systems.

"If they just remove the extensions from the specification, they can move forward and quickly get the document done," Freed says. "Otherwise, if they decide to make major changes like add color in a different way, it could be a six-month delay."

Related Links

 
NWFusion offers more than 40 FREE technology-specific email newsletters in key network technology areas such as NSM, VPNs, Convergence, Security and more.
Click here to sign up!
New Event - WANs: Optimizing Your Network Now.
Hear from the experts about the innovations that are already starting to shake up the WAN world. Free Network World Technology Tour and Expo in Dallas, San Francisco, Washington DC, and New York.
Attend FREE
Your FREE Network World subscription will also include breaking news and information on wireless, storage, infrastructure, carriers and SPs, enterprise applications, videoconferencing, plus product reviews, technology insiders, management surveys and technology updates - GET IT NOW.