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 20:25:16 -0700
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
Message-id: <CB096204-5CD9-42FF-ABE0-1A92ECE0BD18@apple.com>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>

On Jul 2, 2009, at 8:03 PM, Jonas Sicking wrote:

> 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 don't think there is currently a viable candidate for baseline  
codec, without some change in the technology landscape, so the current  
status quo of not defining one seems like the best we can do.

Apple is working to change the landscape. And I know that Mozilla is  
too, though perhaps with different solutions in mind. Mozilla is also  
trying to force their preferred solution via the spec, without  
actually resolving the underlying issues. I don't think this is  
helpful to actually achieving interoperability. Requirements don't go  
away just because of spec language.

> 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.

Easy for you to say - Mozilla is much less likely to get sued than  
vendors with deeper pockets.

> 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.

I'm surprised at the level of confidence expressed in Theora not  
infringing unknown patents, given that apparently no one has done a  
patent search on it. An independent patent review is one step that  
might appreciably change the landscape. Perhaps Theora advocates or a  
neutral party like the W3C can arrange such a thing.

Received on Friday, 3 July 2009 03:25:58 UTC

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