[theora] Theora patent question

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Sat Oct 10 23:57:07 PDT 2009

On Oct 10, 2009, at 10:29 PM, Jason Self wrote:

> On Oct 10, 2009, at 8:39 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> That is a page of links to third-party sites that may have QuickTime
>> components available for download. None of those components ship with
>> QuickTime. I don't think it's accurate to describe linking to a
>> download site as "distribut[ing] the technology".
> That page says, "As part of the QuickTime component download program,
> users will automatically receive the On2 VP3 QuickTime Component the
> first time a VP3-encoded video is requested."
> Even if it's third party software, that description makes it sound
> like QuickTime will happily grab it over the internet automagically
> when it is needed.

I believe this copy of the page is more up-to-date than the out-of- 
date version on the Brazilian localization of the apple.com site  
linked earlier: <http://www.apple.com/quicktime/resources/components.html 

The newer page does not allude to any auto-download capability, and  
indeed QuickTime has not had this capabiity for some time. My  
understanding is that when QuickTime did (briefly) have the  
capability, it was purely a distribution mechanism for third parties,  
much as the Dashboard Widget download page or the iPhone app store. In  
each case, the third party developer is ultimately responsible for  
their own software. Apple has never shipped these third-party  
components with any Apple products, as far as I am aware.

> Could that be done for Theora? A QuickTime implementation is already
> available to deploy at [1] and if Apple's willing to do it for VP3,
> why not Theora? Theora is the successor to VP3 anyway.

I believe the page (even the more current version) is currently not  
properly maintained. There has been some discussion of updating it. I  
don't know the details, but I believe Apple Developer Relations would  
be the appropriate contact point. In any case, it's just a listing,  
there is no auto-download functionality.

In any case, I'm not in charge of this page or QuickTime marketing  
materials in general, and have little direct influence on the  
contents. I just wanted to address the statement that Apple has  
"shipped" VP3, or has "continuously distributed the technology for a  
very long time". I believe neither of those statements is a fair  
representation of the facts.


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