[theora] Steve Jobs about theora

Basil Mohamed Gohar abu_hurayrah at hidayahonline.org
Fri Apr 30 18:47:55 PDT 2010

On 04/30/2010 06:37 PM, Shayne Wissler wrote:
> If/when it turns out to be true, don't say I didn't warn you.
> There is no reliable defense against patents, particularly given how
> it they have been applied to software.
> Shayne
The legal ground upon which software patents stand is very shaky, and 
outcome of the Bilsky case will have a major impact on that, either way 
it goes.

There are a large number of parties that are keen to see Theora remain 
free, and any attempt to "close" the format surreptitiously will see a 
strong blowback from the FSF, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, and many 
other organizations that have a vested interest in its freedom.  
Granted, they may not have the legal power of other parties on the other 
side, but they are not going to simply roll over, either, and give up 
just like that.

If it goes to court, then the outcome of Theora's "patents" could mean 
the end of software patents in general.  Reading Greg's post on this 
list demonstrates how the threat from Jobs is really spurious - he very 
carefully avoided mentioning any specifics, and he is likely just acting 
on legal advice from other parties in the MPEG-LA patent pool.

In short, I'm not worried, and I will not be for some time, as long as 
people are just talking.  Monty already mentioned how Vorbis was legally 
threatened in the exact same way, but those threats never materialized 
into actual claims.  This is most likely the case with Theora, as well.

And, finally, if worse comes to worst, and they assert patents against 
Theora and succeed, there are developers within Xiph that are just dying 
to work in the next big thing is video technology.  And we still have 
Dirac, which is also getting better and better all the time.  So, even 
if Theora were struck down, what it stands for will not be.  "Strike me 
down and I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" and 
some such.  ;)

       Basil Mohamed Gohar
abu_hurayrah at hidayahonline.org
basilgohar on irc.freenode.net
GPG Key Fingerprint:  5AF4B362

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