Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 30th Apr 2010 21:40 UTC, submitted by Helge
Legal Well, this certainly explains a whole lot. Both Apple and Microsoft have stated that the legality of Theora is highly debatable, and as it turns out, they knew more than we do - most likely courtesy of their close involvement with the MPEG-LA. Responding to an email from Free Software Foundation Europe activist Hugo Roy, Steve Jobs has stated that a patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora. Update: Monty Montgomery of Xiph (Ogg and Theora's parent organisation) has responded on Slashdot: "If Jobs's email is genuine, this is a powerful public gaffe ('All video codecs are covered by patents'). He'd be confirming MPEG's assertion in plain language anyone can understand. It would only strengthen the pushback against software patents and add to Apple's increasing PR mess. Macbooks and iPads may be pretty sweet, but creative individuals don't really like to give their business to jackbooted thugs."
Permalink for comment 421890
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
"legal move against Theora"
by Fettarme H-Milch on Fri 30th Apr 2010 23:07 UTC
Fettarme H-Milch
Member since:

If Theora is covered by patents, assembling a patent pool is not a move against it. It's a process to reveal unknown patents. And unknown patents are the ones companies like Apple or Nokia are actually afraid of -- not a well defined set of patents that they could license and then be OK.

In a way it's even beneficiary to Theora, because those patents may actually not be vital and Xiph could use the MPEG-LA's patent list to code around them.

Imagine the following potential outcome:
The MPEG-LA's research finds out that the Ogg container uses patented techniques, but those are not used in Matroska.
Measure to save Theora: Mux the streams into MKV containers.
Applications that use GStreamer or similar media frameworks wouldn't even notice the difference, because they understand Matroska already.

Within one week the patent situation would have been resolved.

Sticking the head in the sand and pretending like nothing is happening (=ignoring potential submarine patents) is not a way to help Theora.

Reply Score: 3