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GIF again.....

After 5.4 came out, there were a lot of posts about the disappearance
of the GIF writer and reader routines. Can any of you experts tell me
about the legality of using shareware C code that reads and writes 
GIF files, originally used as part of the XV program that displays
lots of image types on UNIX boxes? The idea would be to write  
wrapper routines that could call WriteGIF and ReadGIF in the XV
code so that GIF writing and reading could be restored in IDL.

These routines are in the pub/xv subdirectory of

	If this is not legal, does it mean that XV is not legal,
either, even if you pay the registration fee?

	Has anyone come up with a legal scheme under UNIX to
read and write GIF files? If you have to pay a license fee, does
anyone know what the fee would be for a single user?
	Thanks for any hints on workarounds.
Dick French