W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2009

Re: Codecs for <video> and <audio>

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 2009 16:16:27 -0700
Cc: Joe D Williams <joedwil@earthlink.net>, robert@ocallahan.org, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>, public-html@w3.org
Message-id: <9F323C69-FB77-4B7E-BF95-C3C4B78DA678@apple.com>
To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>

On Jul 2, 2009, at 3:38 PM, Doug Schepers wrote:

> Hey, Maciej-
> Maciej Stachowiak wrote (on 7/2/09 6:14 PM):
>> On Jul 2, 2009, at 2:50 PM, Doug Schepers wrote:
>>> As I understand it, Apple and Nokia are among the chief patent  
>>> holders
>>> for H.264. I'm sure it's naive of me, but can't Apple approach  
>>> to reexamine the costs and benefits of having the H.264 decoder
>>> available under a Royalty Free license for both desktop and mobile
>>> implementations of HTML5 (and SVG)? Ideally, this would also apply  
>>> to
>>> the encoder for authoring tools, but I know that might be a harder
>>> sell. Perhaps smaller patent holders could be persuaded that it's in
>>> their financial interest to sell their IP rights, and the cost could
>>> be absorbed by the browser vendors and/or a grassroots funding
>>> campaign? (I know I'd donate!)
>> My understanding (not very well-informed) is that the idea of a
>> royalty-free baseline profile for H.264 has been floated within the
>> MPEG-LA, and not all patent holders agreed. I wouldn't expect either
>> Apple or Nokia to be among the holdouts, but I don't know anything  
>> about
>> the details of these discussions. I have heard that at least some  
>> of the
>> holdouts have patents that expire sooner than others in the pool.
> Yes, that's also my understanding.  I would love to have more  
> details, and wish that MPEG-LA were more open.  Right now, it's  
> difficult to examine options with so little information.  Is it  
> possible to find someone who could enlighten us as to the motivation  
> and goals of the holdouts?
> (Maybe they just want a hug.  Or lots of money.  Either of those  
> things might be manageable.)

The people who know more about this probably can't talk about it on  
the public-html mailing list. You can probably get a start on some  
inside info by talking to the relevant people on the W3C Team.

Received on Thursday, 2 July 2009 23:17:10 UTC

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