[theora-dev] Re: [libdv-dev] DV format patent status
arc at xiph.org
Tue Feb 10 15:32:22 PST 2004
On Tue, Feb 10, 2004 at 12:49:32PM -0800, Jay Sprenkle wrote:
> I was thinking of a third party claiming they
> had prior art. IE. Al Gore claims he invented it
> before the consortium. You check with them,
> they claim no patent. You develop. Al sues
> and shows a patent application at the US patent
> office. You made Al a lot of money.
With DV in Ogg, I don't think this is an issue. Mainly because if such
a case existed for DV they'd go after the big guys. The megacorps who
are selling videocameras by the millions to everyone under the sun.
The reason for putting DV into Ogg is to make editing easier. An app
could have a number of Ogg bitstreams and work with them on the Ogg
level very efficiently while not having to work with uncompressed data.
If you were to input from DV, you could (with such an app) do a bunch of
edits and export back to DV without transcoding. That's a pretty cool
feature to strive towards. It would also help tremendously to be able
to compress the audio layer of DV with Flac vs storing it uncompressed
(if my interpretations of the spec are accurate as far as how DV stores
So since the reason to put DV into Ogg is based purely on the fact that
a majority of consumer cameras use DV, if someone sued the big guys for
using DV our reason for continuing support for it would drop as quickly
as commercial use of it in cameras would. That is, if the big guys were
to tolerate this. My guess is they'd send their high-salary lawyers
after the company claiming patent infringement and bury them.
In reality, also, if Panasonic does have a patent it's in their best
interests to license it freely. They have a huge investement in DV and
continuing to allow royalty-free use of DV format in software means a
greater body of software would support their standard. I don't think
anyone in the free software community really *wants* to begin promoting
an alternative (free) digital camcorder format just to enable free
software video editing tools to be available, nor does Panasonic want
Linux users to not buy their products because they're not supported.
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