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Re: Formal Objection to One vendor, One Veto

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 01:19:42 -0700
Cc: David Singer <singer@apple.com>, Chris Wilson <cwilso@microsoft.com>, Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "www-archive@w3.org" <www-archive@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <40FDE091-B810-4233-B246-76AAE389805D@apple.com>
To: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>

On Jul 22, 2009, at 12:02 AM, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:

> Excellent, thanks for clarifying this. I was hoping that such a thing
> as a call for patents exists, but indeed thought the patent call and
> the license pool were more tightly linked. That they are two different
> things is even better, so people are used to patent calls.
> It could thus be something that the W3C could undertake to address the
> submarine patent risk for Ogg Theora.

Some things to keep in mind about calls to disclose patents:

Standards bodies typically have an IPR disclosure and licensing policy  
that is binding on members, as for example the W3C's patent policy.  
Thus, a call for patents by a standards group that had many likely  
holders of media compression patents as members, would be binding on  
those members. If they failed to disclose a patent in accordance with  
the policy, it is likely they would be unable to enforce it. However,  
my best understanding is that a call for patents like this is not  
binding on third parties who aren't part of the relevant standards  
organization. Nor is a call for patents likely to be binding or  
effective if it is not part of a pre-agreed IPR policy.

Thus, standardizing Ogg Theora through a standards body where media  
compression patent holders participate would be somewhat effective at  
flushing out patents. This body could even be the W3C if it held that  
video formats are within its competency, and if it could encourage the  
relevant stakeholders to join. Or it could be an existing media  
compression standards group such as SMPTE. However, I don't think the  
W3C could issue a binding call to disclose patents independent of  
making Theora a W3C standard; and even if it did, such a call would  
not be binding on anyone but participants in the relevant Working Group.

Received on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 08:20:28 UTC

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