On to JNG!
Many of you may know about the whole stigma behind using GIF – Unisys and CompuServe tried to sue companies and others left and right, because they had supposedly violated patent rights. So many on the Internet, including me, began switching to the (much better and patent-free) PNG.
We thought that was the end. Apparently not. Everyone still used the JPEG graphics format for photos. Unfortunately, a tiny company named Forgent is suing a number of large companies (you know, the usual: Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia, Apple, IBM, Kodak, Xerox, etc.) for supposedly violating its patent rights on JPEG.
Fortunately, the same group that developed PNG also developed two other formats: JNG, for photos, and MNG. These two formats never got standarized like PNG did, but they too are patent-free (as far as I know). Sure, these formats are only supported by Mozilla-based browsers (like Firefox), but they might be worth a look.