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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RE: H264 is the future
by Kroc on Fri 30th Apr 2010 22:08 UTC in reply to "H264 is the future"
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

VP3 (Theora) of which VP8 is a descendant predates H.264.

If there are any patents surrounding Theora, Google now own them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: H264 is the future
by kaiwai on Fri 30th Apr 2010 23:48 in reply to "RE: H264 is the future"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

VP3 (Theora) of which VP8 is a descendant predates H.264.

If there are any patents surrounding Theora, Google now own them.


On what basis do you assume that? you assume that none of those, inadvertently, on patents held by third parties? the patent world is such a minefield it wouldn't surprise me that if you wrote a 100,000 line application that it doesn't at least step on a couple of patents inadvertently. One only needs to look at the numerous patents Microsoft has tripped over when developing - patents whose language is so broad almost anything you could imagine would get covered by it. I don't blame, therefore, vendors being weary of Theora or any claimed-to-be-patent-free project when there is the risk there that they don't wish to take.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: H264 is the future
by Kroc on Sat 1st May 2010 00:07 in reply to "RE[2]: H264 is the future"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Then a game of global thermo-nuclear war it is.

Perhaps if all the companies destroy each other then maybe patent reform might come about.

It's been 10 years. Why only now? I think the minefield of which you speak is so complicated that even the MPEG-LA are having difficulty scouring the Theora design for infringements and trying to put together a water-tight case which could stand up to Google and their portfolio.

Does Theora violate some broad patent? Almost certainly. Would said patent possibly be voided if it were brought up in court and scrutinised? Possibly. So it's not just a case of the MPEG-LA saying that Theora violates their patents, they know they must also beat a games of chess ahead of time with an opponent whose moves predates their own.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: H264 is the future
by lemur2 on Sat 1st May 2010 08:39 in reply to "RE[2]: H264 is the future"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"VP3 (Theora) of which VP8 is a descendant predates H.264.

If there are any patents surrounding Theora, Google now own them.


On what basis do you assume that? you assume that none of those, inadvertently, on patents held by third parties? the patent world is such a minefield it wouldn't surprise me that if you wrote a 100,000 line application that it doesn't at least step on a couple of patents inadvertently. One only needs to look at the numerous patents Microsoft has tripped over when developing - patents whose language is so broad almost anything you could imagine would get covered by it. I don't blame, therefore, vendors being weary of Theora or any claimed-to-be-patent-free project when there is the risk there that they don't wish to take.
"

VP3 pre-dates H264, and VP3 is itself patented.

If there is some technology which h2464 also uses, and it turns out that has been patented twice, the the USPTO has made an error as they are not supposed to award two patents for the same methods.

If USPTO has made an error and there are in fact two patents covering the same method ... the older one will prevail.

This gives the advantage to VP3, not H264.

Reply Parent Score: 2