[theora] VP8

Basil Mohamed Gohar abu_hurayrah at hidayahonline.org
Sun May 23 19:55:44 PDT 2010

On 05/23/2010 10:10 PM, Dave Johnson wrote:
>> Dear Mr. Johnson,
>> Thank you for your additional comments.
>> While I appreciate your sentiment, we are trying to address the
>> situation as it is, not as we may wish it to be.  Although Google has
>> the right to disclaim royalties for its own technologies, if any, it
>> can't disclaim them for others without their permission.  It is believed
>> that VP8 is based on technologies owned by many different companies and
>> not Google alone, and that is the issue we expect to address.
I believe a lot of things too that others may not accept, including that
the world is an oblate spheroid.  And a lot of people believe a lot of
other things.  He even used passive voice, "It is believed", as opposed
to active, "We believe" or "I believe", thus absolving him from making
an outright statement that *he* or MPEG-LA believe that VP8 is covered
by patents outside of Google's scope.

Why the timing, MPEG-LA?  Why do you care now?  Why not when On2
announced the codec so long ago?  And how about for VP7, or VP6?  Where
were you when those were announced and used (somewhat) widely?  It's
only the idea that it's free-as-in-freedom that gets your gears in
motion.  You're sending an implicit warning that if someone releases
their source code, you're going to prey on them and strip their code
apart and force your licensing down their throats, or of anyone else
adopting it.  I'm sorry, but this is too transparent to ignore.
>> Thus, even if MPEG LA were to leave VP8 alone, the intellectual property
>> issues underlying VP8 would still persist.  To make a comparison, as a
>> videographer, you would not want someone else either to steal or assume
>> the right to give away your work without your consent.  Therefore, to
>> the extent VP8 includes technology owned by others (or Google as well)
>> and that technology is not royalty-free, then a pool license which
>> removes uncertainties regarding patent rights and royalties by making
>> that technology widely available on the same terms to everyone would be
>> beneficial to the market including those who wish to promote it.  That
>> is what we are interested in offering.
Copyright vs. software patents.  Dude...you really shouldn't be making
such an inappropriate claim.  Anonymous Cowards on Slashdot would tear
you apart for this level of a mistake.
>> With respect to your wish for a world without the need for MPEG LA, I
>> appreciate your understanding for what we do and that you think the
>> world would be better if the various intellectual property rights which
>> give rise to our service did not exist.  But apart from our own economic
>> interest in trying to create order for the market out of this chaos, as
>> much as it may sound good, I have my doubts whether that would be
>> desirable.  Similarly, I respectfully disagree with your comment that
>> software patents are insidious and squelch true creativity.  Developers
>> that invest the time and money to develop an invention or other
>> intellectual property right like video or music should be reasonably
>> compensated by those who benefit.  This preserves the investment
>> incentives that enable developers to create the new technology or other
>> intellectual works in the first place.  As much as I would like not to
>> have to pay to download a song that I like, I realize that paying a
>> reasonable fee to do so allows the group that created the song to be
>> fairly compensated for the time and effort it spent to produce the song.
>> It also gives that group the incentive to create new songs that I may
>> want to listen to later.
What if I make a derivative of a work, as, say, a parody, or something
that is different, but is an obvious homage or tribute to it?  Copyright
law has fair use.  Since you already related copyright and software
patents, where's the "fair use" of software patents?  None?  Then don't
bother comparing them in the first place.

By the way, who's paying the x264 developers that are making you so much
money?  They've done the real work for H.264.  How about the academic
research that was done prior to the patenting of said techniques?  Who
paid for that?  Yes, I think I did, with my taxes.  Where's my cut, then?
>> Finally, I hope the following may be of some interest to you in light of
>> your comment about not being able to afford coverage under our AVC/H.264
>> License:  The type of video you describe would fall under Title-by-Title
>> AVC Video.  For each Title that is 12 minutes or less, there is no
>> royalty payable.  For each Title that is longer than 12 minutes in
>> length, the royalty is 2.0% of the remuneration paid to the Licensee or
>> $0.02 per Title, whichever is lower.  In other words, the royalty would
>> not exceed $0.02 per copy.
Okay, so if I record & distribute a video in H.264 that is longer than
12 minutes (shorter than YouTube's normal clips, apparently), I owe
$0.02 per copy or less.  Why'd I pay for the camera that encodes to that
format in the first place, then?  The very same creativity you cite
above as a comparison to justify your licensing scheme is actually
restricted by said licensing terms.  You're good, man...it's *hard* to
keep all this straight.
>> We do appreciate your feedback.  I look forward to responding to any
>> further comments or questions you may have.
Sadly, the same can not be said for me, at least.  I don't think I can
stomach more on this, but I hope others can continue grilling you.  It's
not to get some actual words from them about this.

Important summary to take away: You owe about $0.02/copy (or 2% of what
you're paid per title, whichever is lower) on anything you create with
H.264 that's longer than 12 minutes.  This is what's important to know.

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