The <video tag>, as defined by the HTML5 spec, is an element "used for playing videos or movies". Which codec those videos or movies are in is currently undefined, with the two contenders being the free open source Ogg Theora and the proprietary H.264. With the unveiling of Internet Explorer 9 both Microsoft and Apple are supporting H.264 in their browsers, and comparisons of the standards seem to bear out H.264 as the better of the two. However Mozilla have taken a stance against incorporating H264 into Firefox on the grounds that it is patented and has to be licensed. Arguments are now being made for and against Mozilla sticking to its ideals. John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out that Firefox already supports proprietary formats such as GIF. Um, perhaps not the best example.
The W3C's RAND Patent Policy commenting deadline has been extended. At first glance, the new policies seem to encourage software patents, but after reading the whole thing and the W3C's response to current comments, it looks, to my admittedly naive eyes, as though the W3C is trying to make it so that companies using proprietary software are going to have to make it available to other people for licensing. Why is this new structure potentially a bad thing?
You know Jakob Nielsen's old saying "users don't scroll?" Maybe it's because you'd be violating his patent if you did. You got mail? Nope, that's also Jakob's patent. When was the last time this site updated? Again, don't ask or you could owe Jakob. Did I misspell anything in this post? Don't hit the spellcheck button, or it's violation time again. And that's just the tip of the scary patent iceberg. Is it a good idea for Jakob to have all these patents on basic internet application functions?
Oh, cool; someone patented banner ads! And they're suing everyone else for using them. (Ok, so they really only patented *offline* banner ads; we could *hope*, right? :-)