[theora-dev] Re: [libdv-dev] DV format patent status

Arc Riley arc at xiph.org
Wed Feb 11 13:37:37 PST 2004

On Wed, Feb 11, 2004 at 11:17:05AM -0800, Jay Sprenkle wrote:
> Sigh. Another case in point:
> "TVI charges Microsoft's autoplay feature infringes on
> four of its U.S. patents. TV Interactive Data Corp.
> (TVI) of Los Gatos, California, claims that Microsoft
> infringes on four of its U.S. patents, three entitled
> 'host device equipped with means for starting a
> process in response to detecting insertion of a
> storage media' and one entitled 'method for starting
> up a process automatically on insertion of a storage
> media into a host device.",
> http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/02/10/HNmsautoplay_1.html

There's really nothing that can be done about this kinda stuff.  There's 
so many patents out there with overly-broad coverage that there's 
literally nothing you can do online which won't conflict with someone's 
patent.  Really that stuff is up to the judge, in the end, and how much 
PR you can spin in your favor.

What I'm concerned about is patents on DV format by the companies which 
developed it.  They'll serve as cannon-fodder if anyone has an overly 
broad patent which they believe covers DV.  But if they have a patent on 
the format we really do need to get that patent freely licensed if the 
format is going to be used on free software boxen.  This includes any 
video editor, whereas if a patent covers the format, support for the 
format must (at the very least) be handled through a plugin or 3rd party 
app (ie dvgrab/dvcont).  

But as previously explained, the patent holders in this case really do 
have a reason to freely license DV format.  

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