Bonum Certa Men Certa

2008 the Year of Patent Storms?

Proprietary software and formats manifest threat of an attack

ComputerWorld has just published an article which makes predications for the year to come. One of these predications is, unfortunately enough, patent harassment.

Patents, patents everywhere. And not just Microsoft’s saber-rattling at Linux, or the endless patent lawsuits against IT and wireless vendors. Patent holders are now trying to control whether customers can resell equipment, who can repair it and what it can be connected to. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on those questions, which affect everything in IT from whether toner cartridges can be refilled to how much we can mix and match technologies. Stay tuned.

Other than seeking a reform, the best one can do is attempt to comply or make use of workarounds. It is also important to keep frivolous patent laws from spreading to more countries.

As we stated earlier, the Web site will do whatever is possible to promote Ogg Vorbis and Ogg Theora. Like with ODF, it's important to spread such files around the Web. Presence breeds acceptance. Here is a video of HÃ¥kon on HTML5 and Ogg Theora.

He also talks about patents, but sadly enough, we were unable to transcode this video and produce an Ogg Theora equivalent. The following better video, on the other hand, is both informative and finally available in Ogg format [Ogg, 80 MB]. This might put a strain on bandwidth, but let's see how it goes.

Many more videos covering the same subject can be found in

This is the complete keynote of Opera Software’s Chief Technology Officer HÃ¥kon Wium Lie, that I filmed a couple of weeks ago at the Reboot 9.0 conference in Copenhagen. He talks about the Ogg Theora element for HTML5, CSS4, integration of the Opera browser in devices as the OLPC XO-1, mobile phones, Nintendo Wii and DS

The tool used to produce the Oggs at the moment is PyTube, along with mplayer and ffmpeg underneath. If there are tools that are more versatile and reliable (YouTube seems to be deliberately moving goalposts), please let us know. It would be nice to make all blog posts available as ODF as well, but html2odf gives the impression that like it's still work in progress.

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