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Old 02-07-2010, 03:43 PM   #16
jschiwal
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All the information I've been able to find shows that there's not just one "patent" covering mpeg4, but a multitude of them
And I said this h.264 patent, not the h.264 patent.
 
Old 02-08-2010, 09:21 AM   #17
David the H.
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@jschiwal: The problem is, I have no idea what you're referring to when you say "this". Nothing said in the thread so far has talked about any specific patent. And even if there is one patent that's been freely licensed or whatever (as you seem to be implying), what good does it do when the format as a whole is still encumbered?


@H_TeXMeX_H: Yes, mplayer and such are straddling a legal grey-zone in the patent minefield. They get away with it because they generally a) only offer the codecs in source form (which I believe is not considered infringing in itself), and b) are only "officially" distributing it for use in countries where software patents aren't enforceable. The fact that everyone in patent-encumbered countries downloads, builds, redistributes, and uses them anyway doesn't mean that there's no danger involved in using them. In any case end users are usually fairly safe, but anyone making and distributing a product for public consumption has to take into consideration that they may end up in some patent lawyer's cross-hairs.

Also, I never meant to imply that the Mozilla foundation is a perfect white knight. I know all about the trademark thing. But setting up an overly strict trademark policy while attempting to protect your brand is small potatoes compared to the damage and difficulties that software patents cause. They are affecting the very openness of the internet that we all take for granted, and I for one think that Mozilla is taking the right side on this one.

You talk about choice, but in the end it's the software patents themselves and the people trying o force them on us that are limiting your choice, by removing the level playing field that lets anyone and everyone innovate and compete to the best of their ability. It's not the end-products themselves that give you your freedom and your choice, but the standards underlying them.
 
  


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