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: Possible salvation
by kahen on Fri 30th Apr 2010 23:33 UTC 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[3]: Possible salvation
by JLF65 on Sat 1st May 2010 00:46 in reply to "RE[2]: Possible salvation"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

"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.
"

The last time I did a patent search on wavelets used in data compression, I found over 3600 issued and valid (at least unless someone challenges them in court) US patents. The vast majority of the ones I read through were overlapping, vague, and broad enough to fly a 747 through. There's no way ANYTHING written to use wavelets can't be violating dozens to hundreds of patents. They probably wouldn't hold up in court, but do you want to spend years and tens of millions proving that? It's that threat of making a company spend that time and money that scares the PHBs into going with something like h.264.

Reply Parent Score: 3

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