[whatwg] Codecs (was Re: Apple Proposal for Timed Media Elements)

Robert Sayre sayrer at gmail.com
Thu Mar 22 22:37:01 PDT 2007

On 3/23/07, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> On Fri, 23 Mar 2007, Robert Sayre wrote:
> > On 3/23/07, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> > >
> > > The technologies I listed _are_ covered by patents, yet they are not
> > > proprietary. This seems like a relevant counterexample to your
> > > argument.
> >
> > If I have to pay someone because they own something, that seems like a
> > pretty good indicator of a proprietary technology. Why would I have to
> > pay money if no one owns the codec?
> It's not the codec owners you have to pay money to. You have to pay money
> to the people whose techniques are used in the codec algorithms. They
> don't own the codec, they own a government-granted temporary monopoly on
> the ideas that the codec makes use of.

Seems like you're splitting hairs. Here's the definition of
proprietary, according to the "[definition]" link helpfully provided
by Google search, sense 3:

"3. Owned by a private individual or corporation under a trademark or
patent: a proprietary drug."

So there it is, right there in the dictionary. You can always tell
that a technical mailing list off on some ridiculous tangent when
people are pasting dictionary definitions of words into threads.


Robert Sayre

More information about the whatwg mailing list