[Theora] Independent implementations?

Christoph Lampert chl
Thu Jul 15 00:32:56 PDT 2004

<20040715000044.GB339 at ghostscript.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.58.0407150913020.27907 at login.math.uni-bonn.de>

On Wed, 14 Jul 2004, Ralph Giles wrote:
>   On2 represents and warrants that it shall not assert any rights
>   relating to infringement of On2's registered patents, nor initiate
>   any litigation asserting such rights, against any person who, or
>   entity which utilizes the On2 VP3 Codec Software, including any
>   use, distribution, and sale of said Software; which make changes,
>   modifications, and improvements in said Software; and to use,
>   distribute, and sell said changes as well as applications for other
>   fields of use.
> (http://svn.xiph.org/trunk/vp32/LICENSE)
> You have a good point about independent implementations; it would have
> been nice if we'd gotten a clearer statement that they were included.
> However I think you're fine. The intent was clearly that the technology
> is freely licensed for us in the context of VP3-based video codecs,

To me, the intent of any legal statement is only what it says: The
technology is free to be used in the context of the On2 VP3 Codec and
modifications thereof. Interpretating it in any other way I would find
dangerous. Of course, they won't sue the hobby programmer, but if
Microsoft came out with an (inferior, but integrated into windows) codec,
they might very well be interested in a license fee from them.

An official statement from On2 should clear this up, I'll simply ask them,
maybe somebody remembers what the status is.

> which an implementation of the Theora bitstream specification clearly
> is.

> One also has an out in the final phrase, which would seem to grant
> license of the technology in general.

The one you quote? That clearly tells that they are not going to sue
anyone who uses the On2 VP3 Codec or modifications thereof. It doesn't say
they won't sue anyone else, if they come up with a implementation
themselves. It would have been simple to write that, but they really only
refer to users of the "On2 VP3 Codec Software...".


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