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."
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Possible salvation
by Zifre on Fri 30th Apr 2010 23:27 UTC
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

There are a few possibilities:

1) Apple is lying

2) There are patents, but they can be worked around

3) There are patents, but they will be invalidated

4) Apple is telling the complete truth

Unfortunately, I think it may be 4. However, there may be a solution:

Dirac is another open source codec (supposedly it rivals H.264, at least for high resolution), and there are no known patents against it. Fortunately, Dirac uses a completely different compression method (wavelet) than Theora and H.264 and almost all other codecs. This means that there are probably fewer, if any, patents on which it infringes.

The other possible defense (which could also apply for Theora, but it would be harder), is to get support from OIN and similar groups. I can imagine that if OIN and all similar groups, as well as Google, pooled their patents together, they would be able to come to an agreement with the MPEG-LA.

And on a side note, all these idiots should cease to exist.

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