W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > December 2007

[whatwg] several messages regarding Ogg in HTML5

From: Manuel Amador <rudd-o@rudd-o.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 18:30:17 -0500
Message-ID: <200712111830.17304.rudd-o@rudd-o.com>
Oh, yes, let's not forget what Jeff just said: NOKIA LIED when they called Ogg 
proprietary.  That's as absurd and tendentious as you get.

Smell test, guys.  Smell test.

El Mar 11 Dic 2007, Jeff McAdams escribi?:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > On Tue, 11 Dec 2007, Maik Merten wrote:
> >> If keeping the web free of IP licensing horrors and being interoperable
> >> with as many players as possible (commercial and non-commercial
> >> entities, open source or not, free software or not) isn't much of a
> >> reason things are looking cheerless for the web indeed.
> >
> > Actually those are pretty much the only reasons being taken into account
> > here. Sadly, Ogg doesn't keep the Web free of IP licensing horrors, due
> > to the submarine patent issue -- as Microsoft experienced with MP3 and
> > with the Eolas patent over the past few years, for instance, even things
> > that seem to have well-understood patent landscapes can be unexpectedly
> > attacked by patent trolls.
>
> Then you need to stop work on a HTML5 spec right now because
> *EVERYTHING* has a submarine patent risk to it.
>
> Theora was developed, by all accounts, after as exhaustive of a patent
> search as is possible, and designed to not infringe on any patents.
> That's as close to being sure that you're patent free as you can get.
> This is the least risk option going forward.  Its also the only option
> that I see that can hold true to the w3c's ideals of freedom (which I
> strongly support).
>
> Apple and Nokia's stated reasons for objecting to Theora are crap...they
> don't pass the smell test.  Ian, you're being taken for a ride, here.
> Just revert the text and go back to Theora as the codec of choice and
> end this charade of trying to look like you're taking everyone's
> concerns into account because its clear that you aren't.  Apple and
> Nokia are, so far, getting their way, despite the huge public outcry
> that you're seeing, and that should tell you something, and tell you
> something loud and clear.
>
> Apple and Nokia's reasons for objecting to Theora don't pass the smell
> test.  Nokia even called Ogg "proprietary" in their white paper I've
> sure you've read as well.  This is so badly wrong as to have become the
> butt of jokes.
>
> What are the real reasons that Nokia and Apple object to Theora?
> Clearly the reasons that they have stated are a smoke-screen because
> they don't even withstand the most basic of scrutiny.
>
> If you want a baseline codec that everyone supports, revert the text and
> then s/SHOULD/MUST/ .  Apple and Nokia may not like it, but that's the
> only real option if you want a codec that everyone can support.  And,
> yes, Apple and Nokia *can* support it, the risk is negligible, and
> technically is not hard to do.
>
> >> I don't exactly see why the web should embrace non-free standards just
> >> because the big players made the "mistake" of licensing
> >> definitely-encumbered formats and are unwilling to "take further risks".
> >> (I am aware this is a pretty hard wording and that things aren't quite
> >> that easy.)
> >
> > In the absence of IP constraints, there are strong technical reasons to
> > prefer H.264 over Ogg. For a company like Apple, where the MPEG-LA
> > licensing fee cap for H.264 is easily reached, the technical reasons are
> > very compelling.
>
> Except that there are *KNOWN* IP (god how I hate that term) constraints
> with H.264.  At least with Theora we can avoid any known ones.  All
> codecs have a risk of submarine patents (though with extensive having
> been done for Theora, at least that risk is lowered, if not eliminated
> completely), so that argument is a wash, its on both sides of the
> equation, so it cancels out.
>
> Is H.264 a better codec technically, yeah, ok, and Nokia and Apple are
> free to support it if they wish in addition to Theora, or even to
> implement all of the HTML5 spec except for Theora support and risk being
> called out as non-conformant.
>
> >> The old wording was a SHOULD requirement. No MUST. If the big players
> >> don't want to take the perceived risk (their decision) they'd still be
> >> 100% within the spec. Thus I fail to see why there was need for action.
> >
> > The problem is that if the big players don't follow the spec, even the
> > SHOULD requirements, then the spec is basically pointless. What we want
> > isn't that some people support Ogg, what we fundamentally want is that
> > _everyone_ support the same codec, whatever that may be.
>
> Then revert the text and make it a MUST.  As far as I know, there are no
> other codecs out there that are not encumbered.  This is the whole
> reason for existence of Theora, at least at the time, and I don't know
> that this has changed in the few years since it was designed.
>
> If you want a baseline that everyone can implement without being
> encumbered, then the answer is Theora.
>
> > Small companies aren't targetted by patent trolls. Only big (really big)
> > companies are. It's a big-company concern, just like "no per-user
> > licensing" is a small-company concern. That's just the reality of the
> > situation, it's not intended to be a bias.
>
> Except that it very clearly is biasing the decision making process so
> far.  The language was changed because the big companies weren't
> comfortable with it, moving in the direction of screwing the little guy.
>  That is bias.
>
> > On Tue, 11 Dec 2007, Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) wrote:
> >>> It is intended to be exactly truthful, actually. I apologise if you
> >>> believe this to be fear mongering.
> >>
> >> Well, the intentions certainly didn't match the actions.
> >
> > I am sorry you perceive them this way.
>
> As witnessed by the large influx of people on the list that you
> referenced (admittedly including myself) that are expressing very strong
> similar opinions, perhaps you should reconsider whether this is merely a
> perception.  I think its very clear that its not just perception.  I
> think you're being played, Ian.  Revert the text and be done with this.
>
> If you really want this to be a baseline codec that everyone can
> implement, revert the text and then change it to MUST.
>
> >> Fact: Vorbis is the *only* codec whose patent status has been widely
> >> researched, nearly to exhaustion.
> >
> > Sadly there's really no such thing as an exhaustive patent search.
>
> No, but that there was an extensive attempt made make Vorbis and Theora
> much safer than the alternatives.
>
> >> Let me rephrase your statement to be worded in a more *honest* way.
> >> Vorbis provides the perfect escape for proprietary audio prisons.
> >> Apple and Nokia are having problems with consumers and authors actually
> >> waking up and using free, non-patent-encumbered, widely available,
> >> unrestricted, non-proprietary technology.  Since Vorbis directly
> >> threatens their ability to sell traps, they are extorting your
> >> compliance with threats of not supporting the HTML5 spec.
> >
> > I don't know what you base your conclusions on, but I assure you that to
> > the best of my knowledge, that's not the current situation. I have been
> > in this business a long time, and I've been played for a fool many times
> > before. This particular issue does not have the tell-tale signs of
> > players acting in bad faith. Indeed, Apple employees have probably done
> > more to resolve this issue than anyone else so far.
>
> Really?  And Nokia calling Ogg "proprietary" doesn't raise any red
> flags?  (merely an example)  Perhaps you should take a vacation from
> this, Ian, clearly your bovine excrement meter is broken.
>
> > and that is not an additional submarine patent risk for large
> > companies.
>
> You've created the bias in the premise.  By including the word
> "additional", there, you have artificially limited the field to codecs
> which are already implemented by the large companies.  That is not
> progress, that is one great big, huge, gigantic step backward.
>
> That is untenable, and is a large part of the basis for the outrage from
> the public that you're currently on the receiving end of.
>
> > The whole point of the change was to make the point that we need
> > something that will not screw you. Ogg isn't a solution, as it won't be
> > implemented by Apple and Microsoft. If we require Ogg, then what will
> > happen is the big players will support something else, then that will
> > become the de-facto standard, and you will get screwed. What we _want_ is
> > for everyone to support the same codec. We don't get that by having a
> > SHOULD-level requirement for Ogg.
>
> Then make it a MUST-level requirement.  There is no other solution.  If
> we give in to the big companies trying to screw us during the spec
> design, then we're surely screwed, by design.  At least, if we make the
> spec MUST-level for Theora, we can bring pressure to bear on Microsoft,
> Apple, Nokia, and whoever else by shining a spotlight on their
> non-conformance to the spec.
>
> If we change the spec to acceed to their need to screw the end users,
> then the end users will, shockingly, be screwed for sure.
>
> >> I am not saying that ogg should be enforced onto anyone, if nokia wishes
> >> to keep using a different format, no problem, but by making it a
> >> standard, we at least know that ogg will be supported by all
> >> (standards-compatible) browsers, and as such it can be deployed by those
> >> who are opposed to vendor lock-in or monopoly positions.
> >
> > We know that all standards-compatible browsers will support the
> > standards, but what about all the other browsers? Surely what we want
> > isn't just for a small set of browsers to support a codec but for _all_
> > the browsers to suppor the same codec.
>
> But since we're in a standards setting venue, non-standards-compliant
> browsers (now or future) and, by definition out of scope.  There will
> always be non-conformant implementations, we can't avoid that.  The spec
> should hold true to the goals that the spec sets out to bring about.
> One of those goals, from the w3c, is freedom and openness.  Theora is
> the only realistic choice for that.
>
> Theora *is* the baseline for free and open video, full stop.  Everything
> else reasonable is encumbered (at least to my knowledge).  Assuming I'm
> right, discussion over.
>
> >> OGG is the choice of freedom, enabling that freedom for all
> >> webdevelopers is a must in my opinion, although in the same spirit, it
> >> can not be enforced upon anyone, therefor the original text stating it
> >> "should" instead of it "must" is probably the best way to go.
> >>
> >> Freedom for those who choose, the alternative for the rest.
> >
> > Ogg is _a_ choice, which provides freedom for some but not everyone. We
> > need a codec that works for everyone.
>
> Then you might as well give up on HTML5 right now.
>
> >> Maybe Nokia would be as good as to point out which codec is better? wmv?
> >> divx? mov?
> >
> > Sadly today there are no codecs that address all the needs of everyone
> > involved; if there was, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
>
> If this is true, and I don't believe it is, then the HTML5 spec can
> never have what you're looking for, a codec that everyone can and will
> support.  Theora is as close as you're gonna get.  Make it part of the
> spec, and I would say make it a MUST and yell loud and long at Apple,
> MS, Nokia and others when they claim conformance to HTML5 and don't
> implement it.
>
> >> My argument in favour of a "free" codec is that all browsers could ship
> >> with it, without fear of being sued, this would allow users to
> >> watch/listen to clips/movies/music out of the box without scouring the
> >> Internet for codec XYZ for a once off use.
> >
> > I think that's what everyone wants. The problem is that Ogg is not such a
> > codec -- Apple, for instance, can't implement Ogg without fear of being
> > sued.
>
> Pardon me, but the sanitized version just isn't strong enough, here.
>
> Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.
>
> Like I said, let's hear what the real reason Apple doesn't want to
> support this, because this reason doesn't pass the smell test.
>
> > I assure you that the change was made in good faith; I (sadly) received
> > no money for the change. I really wish I had.
>
> Then you got played.  Congratulations.



-- 

	Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) <rudd-o at rudd-o.com>
	Rudd-O.com - http://rudd-o.com/
	GPG key ID 0xC8D28B92 at http://wwwkeys.pgp.net/

Don't worry.  Life's too long.
		-- Vincent Sardi, Jr.
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