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.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Possible salvation
by kahen on Fri 30th Apr 2010 23:33 in reply to "Possible salvation"
kahen Member since:
2009-09-07

What you think there are no patents that apply to Dirac? AFAIK wavelet techniques are patented up the wazoo---there's bound to be at least some overly broad patents out there that cover something needed to implement it efficiently.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Possible salvation
by Zifre on Sat 1st May 2010 00:13 in reply to "RE: Possible salvation"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

What you think there are no patents that apply to Dirac?

I'm sure there are patents. I bet that Hello World infringes on patents. I'm just hoping that any patents that Dirac infringes on are obscure/old enough that no one will ever know. The BBC is not aware of any patents on which Dirac infringes.

AFAIK wavelet techniques are patented up the wazoo

I am not aware of this. Do you have evidence? IIRC, wavelet compression was patented a long time ago but the patents have expired.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Possible salvation
by Fettarme H-Milch on Sun 2nd May 2010 12:07 in reply to "RE: Possible salvation"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

What you think there are no patents that apply to Dirac?

Wavelet technique is old. Very old. Wavelet techniques predate many current video techniques, but were never widely used, because of the bad performance on the hardware that was state of the art 20 or so years ago. ;-)

BBC only uses techniques on Dirac whose patents already ran out.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Possible salvation
by l3v1 on Sat 1st May 2010 07:22 in reply to "Possible salvation"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

ompletely different compression method (wavelet) than Theora and H.264 and almost all other codecs

You should look a bit harder, you'll be surprised.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Possible salvation
by Fettarme H-Milch on Sun 2nd May 2010 12:02 in reply to "Possible salvation"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

5) The mail's fake.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Possible salvation
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 2nd May 2010 13:36 in reply to "RE: Possible salvation"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Except it's not. The headers are there. If this mail is fake, then so are all the other Jobs emails.

But hey, it's already interesting to see that the usual Apple bloggers have a lot of trouble fitting this email into their pro-Apple paradigm. Normally, these emails are all over the apple blogs within seconds. This email, however, has not been reported on by any of the usual suspects.

Reply Parent Score: 1