[whatwg] A possible solution to the submarine patent issue (was: Re: So called "pre-exising use by large companies")

Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) rudd-o at rudd-o.com
Wed Dec 12 11:08:23 PST 2007

(this might sound a bit odd, but bear with me)

"How do we test a patient that doesn't want to be tested?", said House.

> I don't think there are any easy answers here. About the best solution I
> can come up with is to provide browser detection of media formats. That way
> web developers can do a runtime test for a media format and tell the user
> "Hey, you need to install a plugin" if the format chosen by the website is
> not available. Since the vast majority of computers have MPEG4 support,
> that will likely become the resulting "standard" like JPGs and GIFs.

With this idea (a good one) you don't even *need* to do runtime detection.  
The browser can just send an Accept: application/ogg, video/mpeg, mime/type 
and the server can decide which file to serve, and if no content type 
satisfies that, then the server returns the appropriate HTTP response which 
should make the browser look the codec up in a registry.

That way, we can have a third-party organization distribute the Theora/Vorbis 
codecs and Ogg container format demuxers, and every big player is 
automatically free from the burden of responding to patent trolls, because 
big organizations in fear of torpedo lawsuits won't be "distributing or 
manufacturing" "risky" technology.

> If enough people push long enough and hard enough for Theora, it will
> become a new standard alongside these existing formats, much like PNG.
> Especially if a few major web browsers ship Theora support long enough to
> assuage fears over its unknown patent status.

Using the third-party registry / distributor solution (that, I hear, has 
already been proposed), would let Opera and Mozilla (and WebKit distributors) 
ship Ogg Theora / Vorbis embedded, while serving the needs of Microsoft, 
Apple and Nokia simultaneously.

Using a phrase from Taub, "we don't subtract, we *add*".

And let's not forget that all Linux distributors already distribute Ogg 

> Thanks,
> Jerason Banes
> On Dec 12, 2007 6:00 AM, Sanghyeon Seo <sanxiyn at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >From what I read, it is argued, that "pre-existing use by large
> >
> > companies" is a good indication of less risk for submarine patents.
> >
> > It is also argued, that Theora has not much "pre-exsting use by large
> > companies", and among others, H.264 does.
> >
> > Is this really true? I have a hard time believing that no "large
> > companies" shipped Theora decoder ever. And how large is large? I
> > would appreciate any information on this matter.
> >
> > --
> > Seo Sanghyeon


	Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) <rudd-o at rudd-o.com>
	Rudd-O.com - http://rudd-o.com/
	GPG key ID 0xC8D28B92 at http://wwwkeys.pgp.net/

You prefer the company of the opposite sex, but are well liked by your own.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part.
URL: <http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/attachments/20071212/fc4ad0d6/attachment-0001.pgp>

More information about the whatwg mailing list