Open letter to Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash

Steve Jobs
© Wired
Steve Jobs is watching you.

After I published an Open letter to Steve Jobs to comment his article on Flash, about the definition of Open Standards, I received a reply from him. Here's what he answered:

From: Steve Jobs <sjobSPAMs@apple.com>
To: Hugo Roy <hugSPAMo@fsfe.org>
Subject: Re: Open letter to Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 06:21:17 -0700

All video codecs are covered by patents. 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.

Sent from my iPad

Source

Steve Jobs is said to write his emails himself. Below is provided the source of the email for those who doubt its authenticity.

 
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From: Steve Jobs <sjobs at apple.com> 
To: Hugo Roy <hugo at fsfe dot org> 
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Subject: Re: Open letter to Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 06:21:17 -0700
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All video codecs are covered by patents.  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.
 
Sent from my iPad
 
On Apr 30, 2010, at 3:05 AM, Hugo Roy <hugo at fsfe dot org> wrote:
 
>=20
> Dear Steve Jobs,
>=20
> Having read your Thoughts on Flash, I could not agree with you more.
> Flash is not the Web, and I am glad Apple seizes the opportunity of =
open
> standards to build better products for their customers.
>=20
> But I am not so sure about your definition of the word Open in =
general.
> I will not argue here that it is ironic you find the Apple Store more
> open than Flash. I will not complain either you like Openness so much
> that when you use Open Source Software to build your Mac operating
> system, you keep that openness for yourself and don=E2=80=99t give it =
to your
> customers, nor to the developers whose works have been very useful to
> you.
>=20
> I figured that writing an open letter was an appropriate way to remind
> you of a couple of things that you may have forgotten =E2=80=94 maybe =
in good
> faith =E2=80=94 about open standards.
>=20
> It is true that HTML5 is an emerging open standard, and I am glad that
> you adopted it (well, did you really have the choice anyway?). However =
I
> have to say I am impressed in the way you succeed in saying how Apple
> has been doing great with open standards against Flash=E2=80=A6 while =
explaining
> Flash videos is not a problem, because Apple has implemented another
> video codec: H.264.
>=20
> May I remind you that H.264 is not an open standard? This video codec =
is
> covered by patents, and =E2=80=9Cvendors and commercial users of =
products which
> make use of H.264/AVC are expected to pay patent licensing royalties =
for
> the patented technology=E2=80=9D (ref). This is why Mozilla Firefox =
and Opera
> have not adopted this video codec for their HTML5 implementation, and
> decided to chose Theora as a sustainable and open alternative.
>=20
> Free Software Foundation Europe have been raising consensus and
> awareness on Open Standards for some years already. I am sure we would
> be happy to help Apple make the good decision. So, to begin with, here
> is the definition:
>=20
>        An Open Standard refers to a format or protocol that is
>=20
>             1. subject to full public assessment and use without
>                constraints in a manner equally available to all
>                parties;
>             2. without any components or extensions that have
>                dependencies on formats or protocols that do not meet
>                the definition of an Open Standard themselves;
>             3. free from legal or technical clauses that limit its
>                utilisation by any party or in any business model;
>             4. managed and further developed independently of any
>                single vendor in a process open to the equal
>                participation of competitors and third parties;
>             5. available in multiple complete implementations by
>                competing vendors, or as a complete implementation
>                equally available to all parties.
>=20
> Hugo Roy
> April 2010
>=20
> http://blogs.fsfe dot org/hugo/2010/04/open-letter-to-steve-jobs/
>=20
> --=20
>  Hugo Roy                           im: hugo at jabber.fsfe dot org=20
>  French Coordinator            http://www.fsfe dot org/about/roy=20
>=20
> Free Software Foundation Europe works to create general understanding
> and support for software freedom in politics, law and =
society-at-large.
> For more information, see http://www.fsfe dot org