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

[Explicitly taking my co-chair hat off]
From a Microsoft perspective, I have to say I'm not wild about mandating a video format.  I agree the way that video is embedded leaves something to be desired today, but I don't think that's solely a case of "we've chosen the wrong format(s)".  Does someone have a pointer to why Wikipedia chose Theora as its format?

Secondly, I'm not a lawyer, and I want to be clear that if you take what I say here as legal advice, I take no responsibilities for the consequences to you or your company.  Someone could perform an exhaustive patent search on Theora, and it still might not turn anything up.  Or (more likely) it would turn up a lot of "possible" hits.

From a pragmatic perspective, I know who will be sued first if there is any potential IP infringement - Microsoft.  That leads me to say that we would prefer not to require this format implementation.  If it's popular, of course we would add support - but if IP turned up and we were sued, we might well remove that support rather than pay licensing fees.  Is it really the case that anyone DOESN'T have an MPG decoder on their system?

[putting the co-chair hat back on]

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Doug Schepers
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2007 8:55 AM
Subject: Mandated Video Format (was: Microsoft has now joined the HTML Working Group)


Apologies if this has already been discussed. Note that I'm not talking
about where the video would be used ('object', 'video', 'media',
'svg:video', or 'p' elements), but rather the format itself.

I agree that a standard cross-platform, cross-browser video format is
desperately needed.  Right now, everyone is using proprietary standards,
which is just unacceptable as a sustainable solution.

Matthew Raymond wrote:
> 1) What's your position on <video> and using Ogg Theora as the format
> that all browsers SHOULD support?

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

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


Research and Standards Engineer
6th Sense Analytics
mobile: 919.824.5482

Received on Thursday, 5 April 2007 16:28:07 UTC