[Gdal-dev] Answers on MrSID and GDAL

Michael P. Gerlek mpg at lizardtech.com
Wed Aug 6 12:40:42 EDT 2003

A few days ago, someone asked about GDAL, MrSID DSDK, and the $500 fee...  Since GDAL now supports MrSID (thanks Andrey and Frank!), I thought I'd provide the official word on this:

We currently charge US$500 for access to the MrSID decode SDKs.  This gives developers access to our decode SDKs for MrSID and is intended to cover our administrative costs for licensing.  Due to our licensing arrangements with Los Alamos National Laboratory, we are required to have a license agreement in place for developers who wish to implement a MrSID solution...

However, we are currently working to simplify the agreement to reduce or eliminate the administrative overhead and we hope to provide the DSDK free of charge in the near future.  (This will not be an open source release, mind you -- just no charge for the DSDK libraries and headers.)

For what it's worth, the MrSID team relies on GDAL for some of our software and we appreciate everyone's contributions to GDAL.  Our movement towards a no-cost DSDK is driven in no small part because we want to be able to work inside open source environments like this.

[Finally, someone made a comment about MrSID having incompatible versions of the file format.  While there certainly have been bugs in past releases, we're unaware of any real incompatibility problems.  If you think you have found one, please let me know.  
We've always been committed to developers using our software, and we'll continue to make every effort to support developers and resolve issues as they are brought to our attention...]


Michael P. Gerlek
Software Architect / MrSID
mpg at lizardtech.com
LizardTech Software, Inc.
Seattle, Washington

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