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The League for Programming Freedom (LPF) was founded in 1989 by Richard Stallman to unite free software developers as well as developers of proprietary software to fight against software patents and the extension of the scope of copyright.
Among other initiatives, the League started the "Burn all GIFs" campaign in opposition to the actions of Unisys in enforcing its patent on LZW compression used by CompuServe when creating the image format.
The single event that had the most influence on the creation of the League was Apple's lawsuits against Microsoft about supposed copyright violations of the "look and feel" of the Macintosh operating system as copied by Microsoft Windows. After the lawsuit ended, the League went dormant, to be resurrected by those who were increasingly troubled by the enforcement of software patents.
In September 2009, LPF President Dean Anderson sent a notice to former members announcing the return of the LPF and reviving its membership, with plans for an election on May 13, 2010.
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