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Apple, Microsoft Come Out Against Open Source Video Codecs

May 01, 2010, 17:34 (19 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Needle)

[ Thanks to James Maguire for this link. ]

"Is Steve Jobs at it again? Just days after reaffirming Apple's decision to ban Adobe's Flash from the iPhone, the company's CEO is reportedly pointing the finger at another multimedia technology he sees struggling with major shortcomings -- echoing similar comments, as it turns out, from Apple's longtime archrival, Microsoft.

"Hugo Roy, the French coordinator of Free Software Foundation Europe, said he had sent Jobs an e-mail partly to applaud Apple's commitment to Web standards that Jobs had outlined in his Thoughts on Flash essay. But according to Roy, a prominent European open source advocate, Jobs responded specifically to another part of the e-mail, where Roy had suggested Apple should support open source video codec (coder/decoder) formats like Theora instead of H.264, which requires licensing fees.

"Instead, Jobs suggests in his e-mailed response that the backers of these video codecs may have reason to worry.

""All video codecs are covered by patents," Jobs said in the e-mail, according to Roy. "A patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other 'open source' codecs now. Unfortunately, just because something is open source, it doesn't mean or guarantee that it doesn't infringe on others' patents. An open standard is different from being royalty free or open source.""

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