[whatwg] Removal of Ogg is *preposterous*

Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) rudd-o at rudd-o.com
Tue Dec 11 00:27:01 PST 2007

Allow me to be the voice of the small Web developer -- which I consider to be 
the foundation of the World Wide Web.

In reference to:

The recent removal of the mention of Ogg in HTML5 and the subsequent 
replacement of its paragraph with the weasel-worded paragraph that would make 
Minitrue bust their collective shirt buttons in pride:

<p class="big-issue">It would be helpful for interoperability if all+  
browsers could support the same codecs. However, there are no known+  codecs 
that satisfy all the current players: we need a codec that is+  known to not 
require per-unit or per-distributor licensing, that is+  compatible with the 
open source development model, that is of+  sufficient quality as to be 
usable, and that is not an additional+  submarine patent risk for large 
companies. This is an ongoing issue+  and this section will be updated once 
more information is+  available.</p>

is a preposterous and gross mischaracterization of fact (dare I say lie).  At 
the very least, it's FUD.

It pains me to state what is and has always been public knowledge, and is 
being intentionally ignored just to "get the spec published":

- The Xiph developers were extremely zealous and almost fiduciarily diligent 
in researching all possible patent threats to Vorbis technology, and for more 
than a year they found none -- they even did the research *before* beginning 
to code, explicitly to avoid submarine patents.  I know, because I was 
subscribed to their mailing list and read status updates of this research, 
practically at the start of the project.  I also know that big-name software 
houses and media players manufacture products with Vorbis technology, and 
none of them have been sued.  It's been what, seven years now?
- The Theora codec has had its patents practically relinquished by On3 with a 
perpetual royalty-free license.
- Ogg and its audio/video codec technologies are the ONLY free software media 
technologies with implementations widely available on all consumer computing 
platforms -- from WM codecs to Linux DLLs, passing through the entire range 
of hardware (floating-point and fixed-point) and OSes.
- Without guaranteed Ogg support (whose integration in user agents I think I 
already established to be sort of a weekend-level junior programmer project 
at NO COST, due to the ready availability of the technology in all 
platforms), authors *will be* forced to use patent-encumbered technology.  
Remember MP3? Well, with HTML5 it's 1997 all over again.

Ian, revert.  This compromise on basic values is unacceptable, *whatever* the 
practical reasons you have deemed to compromise for.  If you don't revert, 
you will be giving us independent authors the shaft.  And we will remember it 


	Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) <rudd-o at rudd-o.com>
	Rudd-O.com - http://rudd-o.com/
	GPG key ID 0xC8D28B92 at http://wwwkeys.pgp.net/

Someone is speaking well of you.
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