There are similarities, there are differences...
Posted Jul 7, 2009 17:12 UTC (Tue) by khim
In reply to: Huh? What are you talking about?
Parent article: Ogg codecs dropped from HTML5
I don't see what makes video codecs so much different/more
special than other areas of software development.
There are no differences if we are talking about "just a codec" (things
like Theora, Vorbis or Dirac). There are big differences if we are
talking about "media format" (be it VHS, CD, DVD or MPEG4).
Surely you're not suggesting that software development was
stymied and slow before patents?
Not at all.
So why are video codecs unique in this way?
Videocodecs are not unique: there are audio codecs too. That's because
it's place where software development mets content distribution. CD,
VHS, DVD, ATRAC, MPEG, etc - all these developments are heavily influenced
by future royalties and huge firm create and break huge alliances in fight
to control future markets. The latest such battle was HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray -
have you already forgotten about this? Questions about patents and future
royalties figured prominently in the fight.
For what it's worth I've worked on a LOT of software projects
for companies both big and small, and never once in all those years was ANY
decision about what to build or whether or not to build something EVER
based on whether we could get a patent or not.
How many of these projects were about collaborative development by
The fact that as result of this collision we've got all this patent mess
is unfortunate, but it's quite obvious that we only get these standards
(H.261, MPEG1 and all others) as early as we did is because software
become patentable at this point.
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