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Re: [homework] summary of the video (and audio) codec discussion

From: David Dailey <david.dailey@sru.edu>
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2007 11:06:27 -0500
To: Dave Singer <singer@apple.com>,public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <SSFDNS01txc1o8yfogk00010904@ssfdns01.srunet.sruad.edu>

At 10:24 AM 11/9/2007, Dave Singer wrote:

>I was asked to write up the discussion on codecs we had.  Here are 
>my notes.  This probably should be wiki-ed somewhere?

Thanks Dave for your lucid presentation of the matter. Ultimately 
some of the "deep pockets" you allude to may be nervous about Ogg 
because of submarine patents. The issue has come up that it is not 
feasible to determine that a given technology (albeit ostensibly 
open-source) is in fact unencumbered by patents.

What you have written may well imply this, but it certainly would be 
nice if the December workshop could directly investigate this 
feasibility, since it seems to have direct bearing on the entire 
Royalty Free disposition of the W3C. Perhaps in the context of a 
particular codec or two, an exhaustive patent search would in fact 
prove to be a finite effort. Inviting the relevant license holders to 
the table seems like an excellent idea.

Additionally, it may prove worthwhile for the December workshop to 
re-examine the proposition that inter-operability of the video tag 
would be substantially harmed through adoption of more than one 
standard -- for example MPEG-4 for the deeper pockets and Ogg/Theora 
for the shallower ones.

Third, if the existing patents for cross-frame video compression have 
effectively "sewed up" the market and left no room for new 
inventions, then it would seem that the "non-obvious" clause of the 
patent requirement might effectively void a part of the scope of such 
patents. If not, then might the December meeting spend a wee bit of 
its time identifying and claiming some of the fertile ground that 
remains for the development of extensions / revisions of the 
nonproprietary formats that would effectively allow us to step around 
the IP landmines. Most would probably agree that an IP regimen which 
makes the presence of landmines undetectable is not productive. A 
letter from the W3C to WIPO acknowledging such might provide some 
incentive for more enlightened international harmonization of IP.

The former concern is more of a legal one; the second: more 
technical; the third: a curious hybrid of both.

Thanks again for your concise and, seemingly, thorough presentation.
David Dailey 
Received on Friday, 9 November 2007 16:06:28 UTC

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