HTML5 and video patents
HTML is the standard set by the W3C for how to write webpage markup. HTML5 was supposed to include a standard way to add video to webpages, but after lengthy discussions about software patents, the drafters announced on June 30th 2009 that they could find no freely implementable video format to recommend.
Here’s the challenge: Can [T]heora move forward without infringing on the other video compression patents?
A third option discussed was to use software from 20 years ago: MPEG-1.
HTML is an open standard and aims to be patent-free. Consequently, the risk of patent encumbrances is posing a real problem in extending HTML to provide a standard video interface.
Other software patent issues for HTML5
Related pages on ESP Wiki
- Harm to standards
- Audio-video patents
- Companies involved in the drafting: Opera, Apple, Google ... (Microsoft only joined afterward)
- VP8 and WebM - a possible future proposal for HTML?
- The June 30th announcement
- A mail from the HTML5 drafters mailing list - at the bottom, you'll find links to the other mails in that thread. This conversations gives some info on the situation.
Press coverage of the announcement
- Ars Technica's article, July 5th
- Slashdot's initial coverage and later Slashdot discussion
- An Apple forum discussion
- August 2009: Patents, Video, and an Open Internet
- August 2009: Microsoft joins HTML 5 standard fray in earnest (note: this is after the removal of Ogg Theora)
Further analyses afterwards
- Patents and their effect on Standards: Open video codecs for HTML5, from IFOSS Law Review, January 2010
- Nokia's 2007 position paper arguing against Ogg Theora in HTML5