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Re: Codecs for <video> and <audio>

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2009 20:03:18 -0700
Message-ID: <63df84f0907022003i3bb38e7lcda89c8d56de40bb@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, Joe D Williams <joedwil@earthlink.net>, robert@ocallahan.org, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>, public-html@w3.org
On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 6:47 PM, Maciej Stachowiak<mjs@apple.com> wrote:
> On Jul 2, 2009, at 6:27 PM, Jonas Sicking wrote:
>> On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 4:52 PM, Maciej Stachowiak<mjs@apple.com> wrote:
>>> - has off-the-shelf decoder hardware chips available
>>
>> Given that this is a requirement that simply isn't satisfiable, I
> >don't think it's a reasonable requirement.
>
> There are audio and video codecs that have off-the-shelf decoder hardware
> available, so the requirement is definitely possible to satisfy. As it
> happens, I don't think any video codec satisfying this requirement also
> satisfies all the other requirements. I don't see why this is the
> requirement that should be dropped. I understand that it's less important to
> Mozilla than some of the other requirements, so that Mozilla is willing to
> go with a codec that doesn't satisfy it. But for other parties this
> requirement represents large amounts of money at stake. For Mozilla,
> enabling royalty-free downstream distribution of Firefox and guaranteeing
> royalty-free authorability of Web content are important priorities. I
> believe these are the primary reasons H.264 is a nonstarter for Mozilla
> currently. For Apple (and I imagine other vendors), ability to deliver a
> high-quality experience on mobile devices at reasonable cost is a high
> priority. Even considering the goals of the W3C as a whole, I don't see a
> principled reason to override either of these requirements.

It can only be satisfied if you seriously consider H.264 as a
candidate for a baseline codec. Is Apple really proposing that? I had
assumed not given that Apple was a very strong proponent of the
current RF license policy that W3C uses.

I can understand Apple wanting to support H.264 in addition to Theora,
but that doesn't preclude making Theora a baseline codec.

>>> - is used widely enough to justify the extra patent exposure
>>
>> Why is this a requirement for video decoding, but not for the multiple
>> other technologies that exist in HTML 5 (or any other W3C spec)?
>
> I don't think anyone is concerned about risk of additional patent exposure from other HTML5 technologies,
> to the point that this is a showstopper for implementing.

I think this fear is overblown. Additionally there are solutions to
this, such as the one that Doug suggested where a third party could
perform the investigation. I am told that that is not uncommon in
situations like this.

/ Jonas
Received on Friday, 3 July 2009 03:04:18 UTC

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