Re: [rtcweb] Proposal for Theora baseline codec

Jean-Marc Valin <> Thu, 29 March 2012 15:16 UTC

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Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:16:29 -0400
From: Jean-Marc Valin <>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Proposal for Theora baseline codec
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On 29/03/12 10:33 AM, Stephan Wenger wrote:
> Couldn't it be that no one went after Vorbis and Theora because the
> rightholders had no real incentive to do so?  For example, because the
> products implementing Vorbis, in their vast majority, also included MP3
> and/or AAC, and the rightholders would have to deal with patent exhaustion
> arguments and whatnot after having gotten their money; and because theora
> deployment never reached a critical mass because it was a) not good enough
> technically, and b) felt to be too risky?

Whatever the reason might have applied to Vorbis, it seems like would
also apply to VP8. I've also heard similar arguments about "nobody going
after Speex mainly because nobody with deep pockets is using it". That's
despite the fact that Speex is being shipped by companies like
Microsoft, Google, Apple and CISCO. You would have thought someone would
have sued if they had something. Similarly, Vorbis is also shipped by
(at least) Microsoft and Google and we haven't heard of anything. In
fact, the only codec related patent lawsuits/threats I'm aware of all
involve ITU/MPEG codecs with established patent pools around them. So if
anything, I'd say VP8 might be safer from unexpected risks than H.264


> On 3.29.2012 16:09 , "Monty Montgomery" <> wrote:
>> If we're suggesting ten+ year-old codecs with low patent risk, let's
>> choose an obviously higher performance example.  Dare I say it...
>> Theora?
>> I think we've gotten off track.
>> Twelve years ago, oblique threats were made against the nascent Vorbis
>> by Thomson and the whole world decided it was a patent risk.  It never
>> was.  Fool me once, shame on you.
>> In the mid 2000s, people started picking on Theora the same way, and a
>> few years ago Steve Jobs [and Larry Horn, et al] informed the world he
>> was coming after us. Nothing came of it.  Fool me twice, shame on me.
>> Now we have the same substance-less muttering about VP8, suggesting
>> that it's better to use leftover crumbs from 20 years ago.
>> Fool me three times, I should begin to wonder if I have the requisite
>> capacity to be engaging in technical endeavors.
>> Monty
>> Xiph.Org
>> _______________________________________________
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