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

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 21:30:59 +1000
Message-ID: <2c0e02830706250430y61f2ddeiedb897a5cd1cb1f3@mail.gmail.com>
Hi Dave,

On 6/25/07, Dave Singer <singer at apple.com> wrote:
> 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"?

Since that was already mentioned before, I saw no reason to repeat it.

> 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.

I have previously said so and I will repeat it: Ogg Vorbis is being
used by many large players - even Microsoft is using it in their
games. Theora is not that far yet, but I assume the technologies in
use in Theora are being used in VP6, since Theora is essentially VP3 -
and VP6 is one of the core Flash codecs. So, I cannot see that
repeated argument of "no large players are using them" being valid any

In fact, it seems that Fraunhofer used to claim that Vorbis may
infringe on some of their patents. They have since withdrawn that
claim, which to me signifies they have done their homework and seen no
reason to attack vorbis any longer. All they'd need to do is to state
that Vorbis is infringing patents and Vorbis would change or be dead.
This has not happened. So, how likely is the submarine patents claim

> >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.

On some scale of openness.

But I don't want to get into that discussion. All these standards are
important and MPEG, H.264 have an important place. However with its
current restrictions not on the Web. As long as not everybody on the
Internet can use video in the same way, we cannot be satisfied in this

It's not your fault that the MPEG conditions are the way they are. And
it is completely your choice to support whatever codecs you decide you
want to support. But you must accept that this committee can have a
discussion about the consequences of your choices - and this has
nothing to do with personal attacks and rhetorics. Your support to the
open systems is highly valued, but it's not the subject of discussion
of this thread.

Best Regards,
Received on Monday, 25 June 2007 04:30:59 UTC

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