W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > June 2007

[whatwg] The issue of interoperability of the <video> element

From: Dave Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 10:50:26 +0300
Message-ID: <p0624088dc2a520fae8e5@[17.202.35.52]>
At 10:16  +1000 25/06/07, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>
>Thanks Maciej for summarising Apple's position so nicely.
>
>I think it's good that you have spelled it out:
>Apple is happy to support MPEG-4, which has known patent encumberance
>and unknown submarine patents, while Apple is not happy to support Ogg
>Theora/Vorbis which has no known patent encumberance

can I insert the same phrase you used "and unknown submarine 
patents"?  Otherwise you mis-characterize the position.  What is 
more, no-one with deep pockets has yet used the Ogg codecs seriously, 
and therefore there is no "honey pot" to attract the submarines (hm, 
do submarines like honey?).  This is not the case with H.264 and AAC, 
as we have made, um,  some money using them, among others.  More, the 
major players who are likely to have patents are under a RAND 
commitment for ISO standards;  they are under no obligation at all 
for Ogg.

Are you, Sylvia, prepared to offer any kind of indemnification for 
this open-ended patent risk?  We have had this discussion before, and 
I am not sure that new arguments are being raised;  the Ogg codecs 
currently offer us more risk than reward.

>. This has to be
>very clear to everybody.
>
>I also agree: H.264 procudes undoubtedly better quality video than
>Theora at the same bitrate. And I have no problem with Apple
>supporting H.264. In particular when I sign up e.g. for movie delivery
>through Apple, I'd be more than happy for H.264 delivery. But the open
>Internet/Web should be run on open technology.

ISO standards are indeed open standards.

>
>Also, on a side note, it is as yet unproven whether Ogg Theora or
>H.264 are "better" for video delivery to low-powered devices. In
>particular when considering the complexity of H.264 and the comparable
>simplicity of Theora - it may well be that an efficient HW
>implementation of Theora is better suited to low-powered devices than
>H.264. This is a matter of ongoing research & development.
>
>BTW: don't expect the discussion to be gone just because the position
>of Apple has been made clear. As long as it doesn't make sense in the
>greater scheme of things, it will re-emerge. Even if it might not get
>resolved to the satisfaction of everybody.

I (and others at Apple) are aware that the situation is not ideal, I 
assure you.  I wish I could see a better solution than the current 
"should".  Indeed, as you pointed out, an ability to add codecs would 
ameliorate the situation.  Lastly, I feel a little hurt that Apple is 
being so attacked when we take great efforts to develop, implement, 
promote, and interoperate open systems and specifications, while 
there are others in the industry who make no such efforts.  Could the 
rhetoric against us be toned down a little, please?
-- 
David Singer
Apple/QuickTime
Received on Monday, 25 June 2007 00:50:26 UTC

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