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Re: Mandated Video Format (was: Microsoft has now joined the HTML Working Group)

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 10:02:48 -0700
Message-Id: <93365FB2-E0CE-4D56-B126-16FBC3AF40EB@apple.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Doug Schepers <doug.schepers@vectoreal.com>


On Apr 5, 2007, at 8:55 AM, Doug Schepers wrote:

> Has Xiph done an exhaustive due-diligence patent search on Theora?   
> I know that rights to VP3 have been waived, but we don't want any  
> nasty surprises.
>
> Maybe the big players could help with this, by devoting some  
> resources to finding and promoting the best unencumbered video format?
>
> I'm cool with Ogg Theora if it turns out to be unencumbered, but  
> I'd also be open to any other suggestions.  For me, the key factors  
> are that it should be royalty-free, able to implemented across  
> devices (such as on a mobile phone), and compatible with SMIL (is  
> this a real consideration?).

For those who haven't followed the <video> discussion on the WHATWG  
list:

Apple is wary of the incremental patent risk of any new video codec.  
Like Microsoft, we have deep pockets and are a likely infringement  
lawsuit target for any submarine patents.

We would personally prefer the MPEG-4 family of codecs (AAC, MPEG-4  
Part II, H.264) to be a common baseline. Most large companies already  
use MPEG-4 pretty extensively (both Windows Media and QuickTime  
support it, it's in many consumer electronics devices). And the  
availablity of hardware implementations (both programmable DSP and  
more power-efficient hardwired circuitry) makes it much more  
appealing for mobile applications.

We don't think it's appropriate to mandate it in the spec, though, in  
part because the non-RF nature of the applicable patents is a problem  
for free software browsers.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Thursday, 5 April 2007 17:03:19 GMT

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