[theora] Steve Jobs about theora

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Fri Apr 30 15:01:02 PDT 2010

On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 1:32 PM, Patrick Aljord <patcito at gmail.com> wrote:
> I guess you've all read it already, but here it goes:
> "All video codecs are covered by patents. A patent pool is being
> assembled to go after Theora and other “open source” codecs now.
> Unfortunately, just because something is open source, it doesn’t mean
> or guarantee that it doesn’t infringe on others patents. An open
> standard is different from being royalty free or open source.
> Sent from my iPad"

It would seem both surprising and remarkably underhanded, even
considering the probable involved parties, to undertake constructing a
patent pool for some product without ever consulting the vendor of
that product: Surely no good faith effort to construct a valid and
usable patent pool for a codec could be undertaken without contacting
the developers of the codec.

In particular— according to the US Department of Justice "A licensing
scheme premised on invalid or expired intellectual property rights
will not withstand antitrust scrutiny." So, even though it is apparent
that the Xiph.org or its participants would have no interest in
receiving royalties from such a pool a failure to contact the
developers in an effort to determine the validity of any potential
patent claim would be unconscionable.

Since the developers of Theora have received no such contact, I can
only conclude that no such effort is being undertaken and that the
quoted statement is either a forgery, the result of a
misunderstanding, or that the statement may be indicative of a
dishonest and anti-competitive collusion by Apple and other H.264
patent holders to interfere which the development, promotion, and
utilization of unencumbered media standards.

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