RE: [whatwg] Video codec requirements changed

David Gerard wrote:
>I have a suggestion:
>"Nokia, Apple: you want H.264, you free H.264. Make it irrevocably
>perpetually royalty-free, it goes in. Do that with any other codec
>that's technically better than Ogg Theora, it goes in. You can't do
>that, we name Ogg Theora as a SHOULD. OK with you?"

David, the problem is neither Apple nor Nokia (nor Microsoft, nor any other single entity of which I'm aware) can make H.264 (or MVC-1, or one of the variants of those) "free".  Perhaps the MPEG LA ( could, but that's sort of like saying Apple could solve nearly all complaints against DRM in iTunes by making all the tracks free.

On the other hand, anyone with a background in video and a clear understanding of the patent landscape appears to be saying Ogg Theora is likely to be subjected to a patent thicket similar to MPEG-2, they're just currently submarines waiting for a good target.  This is very unfortunate, because it sinks the idea that there's a single implementable-everywhere modern video codec, but that's a sad reality of software patents.

In case I haven't been clear on this point - I think the <video> element is goodness.  However, I'm against even putting a SHOULD for Ogg Theora in the HTML5 spec.  It's not implementable.

-Chris Wilson

Received on Saturday, 12 January 2008 00:02:28 UTC