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 LWN.net 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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lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

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

Whta is there that is "unknown" about it?

Reply Parent Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

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

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

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.


VP3 is an older codec technology.

If the USPTO made a mistake, and granted a patent to a member of MPEG LA for something that was also already covered by the VP3 technology ... then in all likelihood the VP3 patent grant would be the earlier one, and therefore the valid one.

Also, patents are granted based on "inventions". The fact that the Theora code is now considerably advanced over the original VP3 codec is not important, as long as Theora still implements the same "invention".

Reply Parent Score: 3