Re: [rtcweb] ~"I'd love it if patents evaporated...If not now, when"

Ron <ron@debian.org> Fri, 15 November 2013 12:13 UTC

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Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2013 22:42:49 +1030
From: Ron <ron@debian.org>
To: rtcweb@ietf.org
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References: <20131114225633.GR3245@audi.shelbyville.oz> <CEAAE2D9.1D7EE%mzanaty@cisco.com>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] ~"I'd love it if patents evaporated...If not now, when"
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On Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 04:46:39AM +0000, Mo Zanaty (mzanaty) wrote:
> On 11/14/13, 5:56 PM, Ron <ron@debian.org>; wrote:
> 
> > Except the proposed Cisco binary deal isn't licencing the Nokia patents,
> or the Motorola patents, or any others, so they'd all still be free to
> sue anyone using that.
> 
> No licensor / licensee in the MPEG LA pool can sue anyone over H.264.
> Google is a licensee, so Motorola can no longer sue anyone over H.264.
> Nokia (like the old Motorola) is neither a licensor nor licensee, so it
> can sue.

Ah, thanks for the clarification on that.

> > How is this known and proven liability somehow less of a problem than
> > the absence of any such thing overshadowing VP8?
> 
> Half a cent is less of a problem than a permanent injunction.

It's only half a cent after you've shelled out the 6+ figures for the
high powered lawyers though - and even then only if you 'win'.

And it still means that anyone wanting to take advantage of the Cisco
offer _is_ going to need to negotiate a separate licence from them.
So I still don't see how this changes the original problem (even if
we ignore the other remaining problems).


Half a cent for each of millions of unpaying users is still effectively
a permanent injunction (or worse) for many of the projects that would
otherwise deploy WebRTC.


I'll consider it a sad outcome if we are forced into choosing H.261 here
too, but if it's the only option that "makes the patents evaporate" in a
way that satisfies the objectors to VP8, then it's not worse than an
outcome which limits video (and compliant WebRTC implementation) to only
people that the H.264 patent holders approve of or turn a blind eye to.

  Ron