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Free way to decompress LZW archives?

I recently came across some data published as a .LZW archive which I
want to process.  It seems that the standard program for dealing with
the archives, lha, is non-free.  I found a web page documenting the
format; is there any obstruction to producing a free
compressor/decompressor?  Has anyone tried to convince the authors to
free their program?

And what is the actual copyright on the lha program?  The 'copyright'
file in the package just lists the authors, and the README file is in
Japanese.  There's an old, English readme file giving permission to
distribute; is that still current?

	Dylan Thurston

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