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Re: proposed audio/video codec text

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 07 Jul 2009 18:24:05 -0700
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <5F4E2FFE-3630-4483-BD2D-E4A8BC516E6D@apple.com>
To: Rob Sayre <rsayre@mozilla.com>

On Jul 7, 2009, at 5:47 PM, Rob Sayre wrote:

> On 7/7/09 7:03 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> 1) Since your proposed text implies that there may be valid reasons  
>> not to meet the requirement, according to RFC2119 it should be a  
>> SHOULD, not a MUST.
>
> That line of reasoning is only consistent if you think there are  
> never valid reasons to produce an implementation that doesn't  
> conform to all of a specification. It's difficult (impossible?) to  
> point to RFC2119 and get a definitive answer on which of its words  
> would best apply to a given situation. I suspect that is an  
> intentional feature of the document.
>
> In the past, I have seen working groups that made harmful  
> compromises by using "SHOULD". They placed too much emphasis on  
> implementations and devices that were irrelevant by the time the  
> standard was able to fully replace the technology that preceeded it.  
> I would prefer to skate to where the puck will be, rather than where  
> it is, with the understanding that we may need to revisit the  
> requirement after the document has wider review as a group working  
> draft.

In the past you've expressed concern about proper use of MUST, so I  
thought this point was worth mentioning. I don't really have anything  
to add.

>>
>> 2) The patent license/disclaimer for Theora facially appears to  
>> only apply to...
>
> With no malice: I am not a lawyer, and I don't understand any of  
> that stuff, so I'll skip over it...

Your rationale cited the W3C RF patent policy, and claims that Theora  
satisfies it. I think it is important to determine if this claim holds  
up. I'm not an expert on the legal details either, but since there are  
reasonable grounds for uncertainty, it seemed appropriate to raise the  
issue. And likewise, I think it is important to give the issue due  
consideration.

>
>> Besides a clarification from Xiph/VP2, another possibility is for  
>> the W3C to form a PAG, which could decide this is not a problem in  
>> practice. Reducing the requirement from MUST to SHOULD would make  
>> related patent claims automatically not Essential Claims, although  
>> that argument would also arguably apply to any other codec.
>
> My understanding is that a PAG could be formed after someone makes a  
> claim concerning a technology in a group working draft.

I don't believe either a claim or a working draft is required, but  
merely a disclosure: <http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy-20040205/#sec-PAG-formation 
 >. I believe disclosure by a third party is sufficient. When to form  
the PAG would be at the discretion of the W3C Director in consultation  
with the Chairs. Note that a PAG is not the only remedy. I would not  
recommend it as the first step - at the very least we should wait to  
hear back from Xiph.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Wednesday, 8 July 2009 01:24:46 UTC

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