[whatwg] Removal of Ogg is *preposterous*

Dave Singer singer at apple.com
Tue Dec 11 00:59:04 PST 2007

I'm sure that many people would be happy to see a mandate if someone 
were willing to offer an indemnity against risk here.  You seem quite 
convinced there is no risk;  are you willing to offer the indemnity?

Large companies (Nokia, Microsoft, and Apple) have expressed anxiety, 
and are asking (among other things) that an independent analysis be 
done.  The W3C staff are, I believe, actively working on the issue. 
I'm sure that they would be pleased to consider whatever background 
material you can offer them.

I fail to see how asking for an analysis of the problem is giving 
anyone "the shaft", since no decision has yet been even offered let 
alone reached.

Did you read the piece that I edited from the discussions at the HTML meeting?

At 3:27  -0500 11/12/07, Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) wrote:
>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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David Singer

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