Ogg Theora is a video format, for which one of the core goals is to be free from patent problems.
Vague, unsubstantiated worries
Patent licensing group MPEG LA have made vague, unsubstantiated claims that all video formats infringe their patents:
Larry Horn (MPEG-LA CEO): [...] no one in the market should be under the misimpression that other codecs such as Theora are patent-free. Virtually all codecs are based on patented technology, and many of the essential patents may be the same as those that are essential to AVC/H.264. Therefore, users should be aware that a license and payment of applicable royalties is likely required to use these technologies developed by others, too. MPEG LA would consider offering on additional licenses that would make these rights conveniently available to the market under a single license as an alternative to negotiating separate licenses with individual patent holders.
Jan Ozer (interviewer): It sounds like you are saying that some of your patent holders own patents that are used in Ogg. Is that correct?
Larry Horn: We believe that there are patent holders who do.
Jan Ozer: It sounds like you’ll be coming out and basically saying that to use Ogg, you need to license it from MPEG LA. Is that correct?
Larry Horn: That is not what we said. We said no one in the market should be under the misimpression that other codecs such as Theora are patent-free. Whether MPEG LA would offer a license for such rights is a different matter and has not been determined.
(interview from StreamingMedia.com)
Related pages on ESP Wiki
- Audio-video patents
- VP8 and WebM
- Harm to standards
- MPEG LA
- HTML5 and video patents
- Video formats from 20 years ago
- Theora's website
- Theora More of a Patent Threat than H264? Wait, What?, OSNews, March 25th 2010
- Ogg, MPEG LA, and Submarine Patents, March 4th 2010
- Wikipedia: Ogg_controversy#Opposition (about the HTML5 problems)
- Steve Jobs Hints At Theora Lawsuit, Slashdot, April 30th 2010
Campaigns to encourage use of Ogg Theora
(see also: Campaigns to avoid certain patented ideas)
- Open letter to Google: End the web's dependence on patent-encumber, February 2010, FSF
- Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia! - campaign launched by Open Video Alliance