OK. So Khaled ignores the GIF patent and 'screws' the patent holders, I assume since you're so intent on this happening you'll be willing to foot the legal costs when they sue him? The reason your website gets away with it is because your website probably has about 20 visitors a year so nobody who has something to gain from suing you over the breach of patent laws will ever see it, compare that to a very visible IRC client with millions of users and it's not hard to see that the situations are nothing alike. OTOH paying for it would be stupid, the patent is due to expire worldwide in 2004 I believe (it already has done in the US), and besides, the GIF format has been surpassed by newer, more powerful image formats.
Now MNG support, that would be nice.
AdmWiggin: Sorry, don't know of any DLLs that provide icon support for GIFs, have you tried the DLL archives at mircscripts.org?