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: Which patents?
by vivainio on Fri 30th Apr 2010 22:37 UTC in reply to "Which patents?"
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

It is all just crap until they say which patents and where Theora infringes. Show us the code SCO, show us the code.


It's not at all unlikely that patents are actually being violated. And those patents are probably not frivolous ones, either, or something that could be worked around easily.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Which patents?
by zlynx on Fri 30th Apr 2010 23:12 in reply to "RE: Which patents?"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

But it is quite likely that any patents being violated have overly broad claims.

Overly broad claims are just standard practice for any patent.

Of course, by the time the court cases to actually decide are finished, the patents will have expired anyway.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Which patents?
by lemur2 on Sat 1st May 2010 08:50 in reply to "RE[2]: Which patents?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

But it is quite likely that any patents being violated have overly broad claims.

Overly broad claims are just standard practice for any patent.

Of course, by the time the court cases to actually decide are finished, the patents will have expired anyway.


All patents make overly broad claims, but when it comes to the crunch the are judged ONLY on the very specific claims.

Microsoft's FAT patents are classic. It turns out that the specific claims are not for FAT (which is not Microsoft's invention anyway), but rather, for Long File Names (LFN) stored on a FAT filesystem. Even more specifically, the patents are awarded based on Microsoft's claim to have invented a novel method of storing BOTH a LFN and a short (8.3) filename for each file at the same time.

So, to avoid this patent, all that has to be done is to fail to store both a LFN and a SFN. Either one or the other for any given file, but never both. This way, your FAT LFN-compatible software still does not violate the specific claim.

Just avoid the claimed specific methods and you don't infringe the patent.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Which patents?
by phoudoin on Sat 1st May 2010 02:19 in reply to "RE: Which patents?"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

It's not at all unlikely that patents are actually being violated.


First, software patents should be legal. And it's not yet the case everywhere on this little and every day more crazier planet.

Steve, "All video codecs are covered by patents" ?

And? I really wonder how one could ever succeed to forbid a community of benevolent developers to write whatever piece of software they want and a community of users to actually use it!? No patent system could ever forbid someone to share with other people something he develop. Who cares about patent but patents holders, BTW?

But I hear all what you said, patent trolls. Thanks to remember me that I always could put my money where my mouth is.

Oh, and please, patent system, please continue to push to enforce your system throu the throat of people: the more you do it, the sooner they will bite you back. Hard.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Which patents?
by l3v1 on Sat 1st May 2010 07:15 in reply to "RE[2]: Which patents?"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Who cares about patent but patents holders, BTW?

Exactly.

And another thing, "they: always say patents drive innovation. Well, my a** they do. This is just one of the many examples when the opposite is true. In this system only the first ones to patent something are the winners, everybody else is just paying up. Innovating can be working up to a point - since you constantly seek new unpatented ways of doing things - but after a while things will get very hard and even if you come up with something a bit dissimilar, those first ones will always come down on you hard with threats.

Well, it's your system, you let it get this far, you should be the ones who stop it.

If you can, that is.

Reply Parent Score: 2