[whatwg] H.264-in-<video> vs plugin APIs

On Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 12:08 AM, Chris DiBona<cdibona at gmail.com> wrote:
>> We certainly believe so, but I'm certainly not qualified to evaluate
>> the different techniques.
>> Would Theora inherently be any less able to than any other codec
>> system, though? ?I hope you're not saying that it has to be H.264
>> forever, given the spectre of the streaming license changes at the end
>> of 2010.
> No, but it is what I worry about. How agressive will mpeg.la be in
> their interpretation of the direction that theora is going? I don't
> think that is a reason to stop the current development direction (or
> the funding of it) but I thought that Dirac, with the BBC connection,
> might make a better opponent politically than Theora.

I wonder if you've actually talked to a video-specialised IP lawyer
about a comparison of Theora and Dirac toward their patent
infringement risk. I have had many conversations around this and the
arguments I heard are the following:

* Theora is based on DCT compression technologies that have been
around for a long time; most of the technologies are well understood,
and their related patents are clearly beyond current claims; some
other techniques that have been built on top are newer and there may
be submarine patents, but they are few and have come out of a
community that understands the space well.

* Dirac is based on the much newer Wavelet compression technologies,
which have only been around for a relatively short time; therefore
there are still many new patents - probably even patents that have not
been seen by the community at large; while the BBC lawyers and
developers certainly did all they could to try and avoid known
patents, the share of known versus unknown patents in this new space
is likely much smaller than in the DCT space and therefore the risk of
submarine patent is higher..

Therefore, as was explained to me, the patent infringement risk is
actually larger with Dirac than with Theora.

I personally believe that neither of these codecs infringe on any
patents, because a lot of thought has gone into both to make sure this
not the case. But - like any other codec - the threat of submarine
patents is always around.

Best Regards,

Received on Sunday, 14 June 2009 01:08:27 UTC