I figured you two 'old timers' just might shed some light on the history of digital audio and video?
I've been reading in the news about companies that claim they own the patents for digital audio and video, digital compression and transmission for computers, cable TV, satcomm and everything else under the sun. One company sez they 'invented' digital video in Sept 1991 and even received a u.s. patent. Another company sez they own the patent for JPEG compression used in the MJPEG codec.
At first, just some sleazy adult websites got sued but now this company is going after universities and other mainstream content folks. Whose next? They aren't going after the video hardware and software vendors - they are going after audio and video end users like us! That's like the guy that invented the hammer wanting money from the carpenters instead of the other hammer vendors!!
Are we all gonna get sued if we shoot a video with a DV camcorder? What if we get hired to shoot a wedding? Do we need to send these guys a check? A firstborne son? (nah, nobody wants my 13 yr old...)Is using DV formatted video a patent infringement? So what's really going on here?
Now I'm an old fart, too and I seem to remember seeing video on computers at the SIGGRAPH conference in the 1980's. And wasn't that crafty Steve Jobs fellow selling NeXT machines that did video capture in 1991? What year did that litle 'video toaster' oven get fired up?
Can a company patent something that another company is already selling? If so, oh, boy! I'm gonna get me a patent on the wheel and make me a bazillion buck$!! Where's my CC?! No more crufty old computer and video hardware for this geek!!