[whatwg] several messages regarding Ogg in HTML5

Jerason Banes jbanes at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 08:08:30 PST 2007

(I've been watching the emails fly around with great interest, but there has
been a rather significant volume. You'll have to forgive me if the following
question has already been answered.)

It seems to me that the argument keeps coming back to the fact that H.264/AAC
has patent protection available while Theora/Vorbis does not. Thanks to the
efforts of the MPEG-LA, Nokia, Apple, and even Microsoft can sleep well at

However, this raises a question in my mind. MPEG-LA is the administrator of
a variety of patent portfolios. Not just the MPEG sphere of patents, but
also IEEE 1394 and DVB-T. They are also working to add patent portfolios for
VC-1, ATSC, DVB-H, and Bluray. Which means that they are well-equipped to
provide patent administration and indemnification for a wide variety of

*Has anyone asked MPEG-LA if they'd be willing to provide indemnification
for Vorbis/Theora?* While I understand that there is no actual patents to
license at this time, a fee to MPEG-LA (enough to cover possible patents in
the future + MPEG-LA's standard profit margin) for protection against
submarine patents could very well solve this impasse.

Any thoughts?

Jerason Banes

On Dec 11, 2007 3:40 PM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:

> In the absence of IP constraints, there are strong technical reasons to
> prefer H.264 over Ogg. For a company like Apple, where the MPEG-LA
> licensing fee cap for H.264 is easily reached, the technical reasons are
> very compelling.
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