H.264 in Fedora 17!

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Tue Mar 20 23:36:05 UTC 2012

On Tue, 2012-03-20 at 22:48 +0000, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:27:28PM +0100, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> > Patent-encumbered codecs are evil and it is time to embrace 
> > Free codecs.
> Actually, government-granted monopolies are the problem.  The codecs
> and software run just fine, over here in a free(-er) country.

Did you see http://ploum.net/post/working-with-patents ?

One thing I found interesting there was this:

"Not being a patent expert, I nevertheless knew that software patent
were not allowed in Europe. I wondered how I could possibly patent
something that was nothing more than a customized Bayes algorithm. It
looked trivial and purely software. Also, as a Free Software geek, I was
against software patents. Not sure why but I trusted those who were
against it.

I was asked to reconsider my "invention" under another light: I was
using captors to the external world. My prediction had an impact on a
hardware product. In fact, every software patent you can think of can be
reconsidered as an hardware patent. In the extreme case, isn't moving
electron something physical?

Also, everything actually running as hardware can become software. Think
about modelization. Even a plane or a train can exist only as a software
model. It doesn't make sense to make a distinction between software and
hardware patent.

Some patent attorney are specialized into re-writing a software patent
into something that would be accepted by the European patent office. In
the end, it is only a difference in the way you describe things, or pure

I was and I'm still convinced. There is no non-arbitrary difference
between hardware, software or even pharmaceutical patents."

I rather suspect that, as described above, it is in practice entirely
possible to patent software in Europe, and the reason there are somewhat
fewer such patents and lawsuits than in the U.S. are really just that
it's somewhat _harder_ to file patents in the EU and anyone worth suing
is certainly doing business in the U.S., so you may as well just do your
suing in East Texas. But I don't think you're really as safe sitting in
the U.K. as you may think...
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | identi.ca: adamwfedora

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