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  • Steve versus Theora


    According to an email sent by an increasingly talkative Steve Jobs on Friday, Apple is assembling a "patent pool" - sort of an intellectual property supergroup - to go after open source video codecs that they feel infringe on private patents. As part of Jobs's crusade to get developers to drop Flash in favor of the H.264 video standard, he's brought on a key ally in Microsoft, which sent out a similar message in a blog post last week.

    The Theora codec is a free video compression format which derives from the VP3 format developed by On2 Technologies. On2 opened the source code to VP3 back in 2002 and then donated it to the Xiph.Org Foundation, and made an irrevocable license-free grant for any patent claims. They stopped development of VP3 and worked with Xiph.Org to release Theora completely royalty-free. H.264, on the other hand, is closed source and the license is only royalty-free until 2015. Developers fear that once H.264 is accepted as a de facto standard, the patent holders will demand royalties from every product that implements it.

    Apple and Microsoft have intimated, without proving that this is the case, that the Theora codec derives from patented technology. In an email to Hugo Roy of the Free Software Foundation Europe, Steve Jobs asserted that "All video codecs are covered by patents." Much of this concern is thought to come from the so-called "patent thicket" which surrounds the MPEG-2 standard: over 640 patents are involved in the basic technology. Xiph.Org, for its part, asserts that this is not so, labeling it a way of spreading "FUD" (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) among developers considering the standard. Lead developer Gregory Maxwell is claiming that Theora avoided these pitfalls "by rejecting the taint of encumbered technology, and accepting the challenges and compromises that come from doing so."

    Clearly, Apple and Microsoft and the rest of their patent posse believe that they can prove otherwise. Whatever the truth may be, there is certainly an imbalance of legal firepower between the industry giants and the free software campaigners.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Steve versus Theora started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 35 Comments
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Great! Apple and stupid patent related stuff.
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      Apple really will take over the world on day :/
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Quote Originally Posted by extremzocker View Post
      Apple really will take over the world on day :/
      the world? they won't settle for the world, they want the universe
    1. George Lopez's Avatar
      George Lopez -
      They aint taking over mexico! Nobody gives a crap about apple here. We like our comps to be fully loaded with pirated apps. Cant do that with macs so easily...someone say el macintoch??
    1. slthom's Avatar
      slthom -
      Quote Originally Posted by George Lopez View Post
      They aint taking over mexico! Nobody gives a crap about apple here. We like our comps to be fully loaded with pirated apps. Cant do that with macs so easily...someone say el macintoch??
      So, so funny!
    1. rickybobby's Avatar
      rickybobby -
      I hate apple now
    1. kwickone's Avatar
      kwickone -
      Quote Originally Posted by rickybobby View Post
      I hate apple now
      There's an app for that
    1. SAVAGE5's Avatar
      SAVAGE5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kwickone View Post
      There's an app for that
      Even funnier!
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Appl£ will be filing a patent for air soon just because they use it to cool there product, well not all(macbook Pro 17")
    1. stfudvs's Avatar
      stfudvs -
      "there's an app for that"

      lmao word!
    1. redcard's Avatar
      redcard -
      Quote Originally Posted by George Lopez View Post
      They aint taking over mexico! Nobody gives a crap about apple here. We like our comps to be fully loaded with pirated apps. Cant do that with macs so easily...someone say el macintoch??
      And that's why Mexican people live in the 3rd world
    1. billmilo's Avatar
      billmilo -
      Apple = Evil
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Quote Originally Posted by stfudvs View Post
      "there's an app for that"

      lmao word!
      According to Apple, there's an app for everything
      But the 'fine print' states: limited to apps "we" want you to use!
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Hope you're from Europe because America sure as he'll isn't a first world anything. How we haven't imploded yet amazes me.
    1. boe_dye's Avatar
      boe_dye -
      Every day I read something about Apple, I like them less and less. I love my iPhone, I love it even more Jailbroken. But you know...

      I am really really REALLY starting to get a bad taste in my mouth with Steve Jobs and his totalitarian, draconian ways.

      However, I don't think that they are going to win. I think that when all is said and the mobile device war is done, I believe that Google will emerge the victor.
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      Quote Originally Posted by George Lopez View Post
      They aint taking over mexico! Nobody gives a crap about apple here. We like our comps to be fully loaded with pirated apps. Cant do that with macs so easily...someone say el macintoch??
      *edit*Sorry did not see that it was a quote...lol
    1. lili4311's Avatar
      lili4311 -
      Apple's being too much of a whiny B**** lately. I'm starting to dislike them...
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Oh man...this will never end.
    1. Dorkenstein909's Avatar
      Dorkenstein909 -
      Quote Originally Posted by rickybobby View Post
      I hate apple now
      me too! to think i was once head over heels for them...
    1. George Lopez's Avatar
      George Lopez -
      @redcard

      hmmm...3rd world?? Well at least we dont have to deal with apple as a tyrant. El ay-fon vale madres!