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RF-ness (was:" Re: Workshop notes and next steps")

From: Alexander Adolf <alexander.adolf@me.com>
Date: Wed, 02 Mar 2011 21:46:42 +0100
Message-id: <4691E502-E91C-4759-B47D-9A95874311ED@me.com>
To: W3C Web+TV W3C Web+TV IG <public-web-and-tv@w3.org>
Dear Colleagues,

On 2011-02-22, at 18:34 , Mark Watson wrote:

> On Feb 21, 2011, at 7:01 PM, Glenn Adams wrote:
> 
>> Let's just say I find the claim "if DASH is not RF then it will not be successful, since there are RF alternatives... that noone is ever going to make any money out of royalties on this thing" to be both naive and idealistic.
> 
> Well, it's interesting that you think there is a business case in licensing DASH IPR for those that have it. I think it very unlikely that Netflix would ever pay royalties for something like that which we know we can easily work around.
> [...]

I think both, Glenn and Mark have a point here. Although I wouldn't subscribe to all of their conclusions.

In the 15+ years of my digital broadcast work, I have never ever seen anyone really making noteworthy money with IPR. So I'd agree to that there is no serious business case for IPR. The environments I have been working in are working on FRAND (where "F" is for fair) terms, and it has worked out. In the case of broadcast, for a century. ;)  In all cases I am aware of, the IPR-givers did not make their money on the licence fees, but on the consultancy for integrating their tech into products. But then nobody is forced to buy their services if one thinks yer own engineers are good 'nough.

Remember that the things the "big wigs" give away for free is because they can re-finance the development from other income, not because they think the Web is such a great place that we all should have a free lunch. What they buy with that is a little bit of market control. That's the management level equation.

> On Feb 21, 2011, at 7:01 PM, Glenn Adams wrote:
> 
>> Let's just say I find the claim "if DASH is not RF then it will not be successful, since there are RF alternatives...
>> [...]

I think I might clarify that to say "...then it will not be successful ON THE WEB." It may still be successful in environments where FRAND terms are common practice and accepted, like IPTV and Cable.

So I guess the RF vs. (F)RAND debate might still be going on for a while. Not for everybody may it be the end of the world and freedom as such if their tech is not on the Web; since there are other domains where it will be deployed. And maybe the Web community will have to swallow one or two decisions of this sort, that sth. will not be available on the Web because the IPR holders refuse to make it RF. I guess both sides will be on a learning curve here. Where will or should this end? My crystal ball is mucky...

Then Mark also has a point of course: 
> [...]
> I think it very unlikely that Netflix would ever pay royalties for something like that which we know we can easily work around.
> [...]


This is the Chinese model. Take the original, and tweak it until it becomes RF. This is a good approach in terms of business model. But it is IMHO a not so good approach in terms of cross-sector convergence. It would cement the trench between the broadcast and Web domains; and I thought we were working to bridge it?

So my compromise proposal would be this: if it turns out that sth. (I agree with Mark that the probability for DASH is low) turns out to be not RF, for once ask "if it's not free, what would the licence fees be the?" Listen to the answer, and keep in mind that such terms are *always* negotiable. Then consider whether you have been talking to Mr. Evil Devil himself, or whether the tech offered is really so great that folks would be willing & able to survive with the licence.

Just my two cents anyway.

BTW, anyone attending #dvbw11 in Nice next week?


Thanks a lot and cheers,

  --alexander

-- 
Condition-ALPHA Digital Broadcast Technology Consulting Alexander Adolf
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Received on Wednesday, 2 March 2011 20:47:25 UTC

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