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RE: MP4 Player Available for Download

From: Chiariglione Leonardo <Leonardo.Chiariglione@TILAB.COM>
Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2001 13:03:44 +0200
To: "'Rob Lanphier'" <robla@real.com>
Cc: discuss@apps.ietf.org
Message-id: <A0B9FD493F1D6647B4053E22BB1C3CB601948C18@exc2k01.cselt.it>
Rob,

>Absolutely.  You've opened up a huge door for me to give a long sales
>pitch, but out of courtesy to the people on this list, I'll try to keep it
>brief.  

Let's see if the same words mean the same thing for both of us.
With MPEG-4 anybody is allowed to take the standard or the reference
software (source code) and make an implementation that conforms to the
standard for commercial purposes. And this not just e.g. for the "player"
but for the pieces of the player as well.
Can I do the same with RealNetworks products? I mean, I take the source code
of your RealProducer or RealServer or RealPlayer, modify it (still keeping
conformity with the original product) and make a product of mine that
competes with RealNetworks'?

>Stated by the people working on it.  

You mean, this has been stated by those who have an interest in a certain
business model, but not by _all_ people who have a variety of different
business models.

>When the chair of the working group
>working on a standard says that he doesn't know the IPR situation with the
>spec he's working on, 

The chair is prevented from this by the rules of the organisation he works
in

>that should raise big red flags in the minds of
>those who are actually concerned with licensability.

It seems that several kilobytes of mail have passed in vain. So, for the
last time:
1. MPEG has developed a standard (MPEG-4) but is prevented from addressing
licensing issues by the rules of the organisation (ISO) MPEG works in
2. an independent organisation (MPEG-4 Industry Forum - M4IF) has been set
up by some individuals (I was one of them, even though I am no longer active
in it because the organisation is up and running) to promote the standard
3. A major activity of M4IF has been to start discussions about MPEG-4
licensing
4. For Systems, Visual and Audio these discussions have led to a process
that will likely lead to the creation of patent pool(s).
5. Note that patent pools will be strictly outside of M4IF
6. For Video the discussions are well advanced, but the discussions are held
by IPR holders only
7. The MP3 and MPEG-2 cases have been mentioned to illustrate how licensing
of standardised technologies that have a complex IPR situation (say, the 100
patents of MPEG-2) is possible and can give rise to businesses worth several
tens of billion dollars (e.g. DVD is the fastest growing CE product in
history).
8. It is not MPEG's fault if IPR licensing is made complex by legislation.
Of course people will believe what they want to believe, particularly when
the coming true of one belief suits one's agenda better than another.
Leonardo Chiariglione


Hi Leonardo,

More answers inline:

On Sat, 31 Mar 2001, Chiariglione Leonardo wrote:
> [Rob Lanphier wrote:]
> >MPEG-4 is a very different technology than MPEG-2, and "licensable" is v=
ery
> >different than openly available.
>
> Is RealNetworks technology licensable or openly available?

Absolutely.  You've opened up a huge door for me to give a long sales
pitch, but out of courtesy to the people on this list, I'll try to keep it
brief.  We give away versions of RealPlayer, RealServer and RealProducer,
and license our technology to many companies.  It's also an open,
extensible architecture which anyone can write new datatypes
(standards-based or otherwise):

About our ubiquity (and hence availability):
http://www.realnetworks.com/company/pressroom/pr/2001/metrics.html
About our extensibility:
http://www.realnetworks.com/company/pressroom/pr/2001/autoupdate.html

As to the standards we support, there's RTP, RTSP, SDP, SMIL, H.261,
G.711, PNG, and countless others I'm forgetting, all of which have
specifications available for interoperability with our system -- and all
of which are available for royalty-free implementation to the best of my
knowledge.  Additionally, we support many of the MPEG family of standards
(MP3 audio natively, and MPEG-1/MPEG-2 video via third party support
through our plugin architecture).  We even have partners working on MPEG-4
support.

> >I'm saying that there doesn't
> >exist  multimedia standard with the stated goal of being royalty-free.
>
> Stated by whom?

Stated by the people working on it.  When the chair of the working group
working on a standard says that he doesn't know the IPR situation with the
spec he's working on, that should raise big red flags in the minds of
those who are actually concerned with licensability.

Rob

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Lanphier [mailto:robla@real.com]
Sent: 2001 marzo sabato 21:37
To: Chiariglione Leonardo
Cc: discuss@apps.ietf.org
Subject: RE: MP4 Player Available for Download


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Received on Sunday, 1 April 2001 07:04:25 UTC

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