Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 31st Jan 2010 14:20 UTC, submitted by lemur2
Internet & Networking Despite the recent interest in adopting HTML5's video tag, there is still one major problem: there is no mandated standard video codec for the video tag. The two main contestants are the proprietary and patended h264, and the open and free Theora. In a comment on an article about this problematic situation, LWN reader Trelane posted an email exchange he had with MPEG-LA, which should further cement Theora as the obvious choice.
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You are afraid of legal liability, but you choose to go with Theora which has an unknown patent status over h.264 which is very well defined?

That makes no sense.

Reply Parent Score: -1

darknexus Member since:

You know, if people are so concerned with Theora's patent status let's just go after it. Put that statement to rest one way or another. We already know whatever patents VP3 had (which Theora is based from) are a non-issue and, odds are, if there really was patent issues someone would've called it out by now. Even so, these days you can't even develop a keyboard-based UI without treading on some ridiculous patent or other. Try and prove that H.264 infringes on nobody's patents. Go ahead. They have the MPEGLA behind them, which means that patent trolls probably wouldn't succeed given the patent pool, but I bet you can find instances where even your precious H.264 treads liberally over someone's patents. It's not possible to develop any software today and not tread on one or more, usually many more.

Reply Parent Score: 9

modmans2ndcoming Member since:

It is not about proving that H.264 does not tred on someone's patents, it is the fact that MPEG-LA has a giant patent catalog with many many many very large companies behind it. The likelihood that they do infringe on a patent is very small and it is ever a smaller chance that if they do, someone will go after them for anything but a settlement.

Reply Parent Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:

wait.... You are afraid of legal liability, but you choose to go with Theora which has an unknown patent status over h.264 which is very well defined? That makes no sense.

Theora's patent status is perfectly well known.

On2 technologies hold a patent specifically for the VP3 video codec. have negotiated with On2 to obtain an irrevocable royalty-free licesnse to develop a codec (which have named Theora) based on VP3. The agreement includes the rights for to re-distribute the codec to end users under any license that want to, including open source licenses.

Whta is there that is "unknown" about it?

Reply Parent Score: 3

darknexus Member since:

Well, Theora is *not* VP3. The VP3 patent situation is well and clearly defined. Theora is *based from* VP3, so the VP3 portions and technologies are in the clear but what about anything developed in addition to them? VP3 is where Theora came from, but it differs considerably from baseline VP3 now.
Still, I think that needs to get resolved one way or another. I would have thought, if Theora does infringe on any patents now, the infringed party would've gone after it if for no other reason than to get some of the publicity Theora is getting around the HTML 5 issue. I doubt Theora infringes on any more patents than any software program does these days. If you look hard enough you can find a patent for *any* common convention used in software today.

Reply Parent Score: 2