[whatwg] arrggghhh (or was it ogg)

Joseph Daniel Zukiger joseph_daniel_zukiger at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 12 05:15:08 PST 2007

I apologize in advance if this question has already
been broached. In what I have seen of several of the
ogg threads, I seem to see the question being danced
around, but not directly addressed.

Part one of the question:

What guarantees do Apple, Nokia, et. al. offer that
their corporate-blessed containers/formats/codecs are
free from threat for (ergo) the rest of us? Are they
willing to make binding agreements to go to bat for
_us_ in court?

Part two of the question:

Where does anyone expect to find any software
technology that can't be submarined (post-facto,
really) sufficiently to incur more court costs than
most of us independent (read, one-man semi-hobbiests,
trying to make useful tools for problems the big guys
are too big to see) developers can afford to even hire
a lawyer to officially say, "I'm sorry for even daring
to think for myself and I promise never to do it

Yeah, bring up that stupid EOLAS business. While I
appreciate the greatest software polluters in the
industry getting a bite taking out of their bottom
line, I don't appreciate that it "validates" (not
legally, but in practice) the practice of using the
absurdity of patenting literature^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H
software as a weapon for waging wars in the
marketplace. It validates the devil's game when you
use the devil's tools.

You look closely at what happened in EOLAS (and what
is happening on several other fronts) and it is
simple. Somebody gets a patent vaguely related to
something someone they want to attack is doing and
sics the lawyers on them, and the lawyers try to
figure out a way to be enough nuisance to induce a

We all know that is what happens. We all know there is
no way to defend against it. No patent search can be

So Nokia and Apple and whoever else are simply trying
to push the standard to the solution they have agreed
to in their back-room deals, and they want w3c to
support their back-room deals.

Thus my question: Who fights for the little guys if
the big guys are warning^H^H^H^H^H^H^H telling us that
the little guys' solution is going to get attacked?
What good does it do to use what they tell us they
want? We know they are planning attacks anyway, just
because they've done this.

Long rant. I hope I'm made some sense.


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