[theora] Thusnelda Video Quality

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Wed Apr 1 22:36:20 PDT 2009

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 1:23 AM, Tom Sparks <tom_a_sparks at yahoo.com.au> wrote:
> On Wed, 1/4/09, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com>wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 8:46 PM, Remco <remco47 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 6:42 PM, Michael Dale
> <snip>
> <snip>
>>For most content producers the 'cost' of compatibility dwarfs >other
>>factors.  Quality? Who cares about quality if it doesn't even >*play*?
> the content producers are then feed the market to maintain this monopoly
> <snip>
>>Take a look at areas where free formats have achieved >widespread
>>adoption: Still images (JPEG, for example), Hypertext (HTML), >etc.  In
>>these areas proprietary formats receive no air. Even though >superior
>>proprietary alternatives exist, virtually no one bothers to >use them
>>because compatibility is the 'cost' that matters most for >almost
>>everyone, not quality.
> <snip>
> hang on, that not always true
> MPEG1 ISO/IEC 11172 (MP3)
> MPEG2 ISO/IEC 13818
> MPEG4 ISO/IEC 14496
> they are all standards witch I can find the document by googling, but I have to pay for the license to use that standard :(

I'm not quite sure what you're saying. Perhaps you're saying that
MPEG4 is not proprietary because it is an ISO standard?

I've been trying to use the word "encumbered" to describe these
formats to avoid that particular piece of nit-picking, and I slipped
up there... but I do actually stand by use of proprietary in that

Merriam-Webster states:
Main Entry: 1pro·pri·e·tary
2: something that is used, produced, or marketed under exclusive legal
right of the inventor or maker ; specifically : a drug (as a patent
medicine) that is protected by secrecy, patent, or copyright against
free competition as to name, product, composition, or process of

These codecs are protected by patent and are available for use only
with the exclusive legal right of a singular licensing body. They are
proprietary, even though their operation is publicly disclosed like
all other patented things.  Somewhat incongruently they would be less
proprietary if they were secret and not protected by patent, since
they could be legally reverse engineered.

Notice I didn't mention audio and video as examples. In those domains
free formats have not reached sufficient adoption to be considered
'effectively free'. To make the free alternatives usable the public
must first adopt them.

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