[Linux-aus] Fwd: Ogg Vorbis and Theora removed from HTML5

Michael Davies michael at the-davies.net
Mon Dec 17 01:33:08 UTC 2007

On 17/12/2007, at 10:43 AM, Jeff Waugh wrote:

> <quote who="Paul Wayper">
>> Sorry, but to me it is disingenuous of Apple, Nokia and Microsoft  
>> to say
>> "well, it might have a patent in there somewhere despite all that
>> searching, we'd better not touch it being the good corporate  
>> citizens that
>> we are".
> That's really not what they're saying though. They're saying that  
> they don't
> want to take the additional risk. I don't believe that public  
> information
> exists that *rules out* the existence of submarine patents on Vorbis/ 
> Theora
> (for good reason), and they may feel as if they have better  
> information to
> hand in the first place.

And the thing is that these companies are likely to be concerned about  
submarine patents held by people that they don't have patent cross- 
licensing deals with already.

Of course that threat exists with other formats - no-one can guarantee  
that MWF or Quicktime or whatever don't violate an existing submarine  
patent out there.  The difference is that it's worth their while to  
defend their technologies (attacking any patents should they arise  
with prior art, or cross-licensing etc) due to the investment they  
have already.  Any new "open" technology is a threat due to not  
knowing who they might have to deal with in the case of a submarine  
patent rising to the surface.

Patent searches/declarations and statements by patent holders of  
similar technology can go along way to alleviating these fears.  The  
first one is something the OSS community can do something about,  
whereas the second depends upon the competitive advantage vs open- 
standard debates inside the corporations involved.


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