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

Gareth Hay gazhay at gmail.com
Fri Mar 23 03:30:54 PDT 2007

As i said in a previous post, this is a very grey area.[1][2]

So much so that many of the granted patents are being opposed, and  
until the outcome of these oppositions, neither one of us can comment  
on the true legality of them.

I would suggest backing away from any such areas where software  
patentability becomes an issue. Case law hasn't sufficiently  
established the legality in my country, europe and many, many  


On 23 Mar 2007, at 10:02, Christian F.K. Schaller wrote:

> It is an Urban Legend that there are no software patents in the EU.  
> True
> enough there is no 'EU' software patents, but a lot of member  
> states do
> have them. I suggest going the MPEG LA's webpage and looking at the
> patent lists they have there for MPEG4. You will notice that a lot of
> the patents are from EU countries.
> Christian
> On Fri, 2007-03-23 at 08:35 +0000, Gareth Hay wrote:
>> Not in the EU, no such thing as a software patent.
>> On 23 Mar 2007, at 04:55, Ian Hickson wrote:
>>> On Fri, 23 Mar 2007, Robert Sayre wrote:
>>>> MPEG-4 is proprietary, because it is covered by patents.
>>> I hate to be the one to break this to you, but CSS is covered by
>>> patents,
>>> HTML is covered by patents, the DOM is covered by patents,
>>> JavaScript is
>>> covered by patents, and so forth. Proprietary technologies are
>>> those that
>>> are under the control of a single vendor. MPEG-4 is not proprietary.
>>> It's not available under royalty free licensing. But it is not
>>> under the
>>> control of a single vendor. That is the important difference, not
>>> whether
>>> the technology is patented or not.
>>> -- 
>>> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )
>>> \._.,--....,'``.    fL
>>> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _
>>> \  ;`._ ,.
>>> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--
>>> (,_..'`-.;.'
> -- 
> Business Development Manager
> Fluendo S.A.
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