[whatwg] Removal of Ogg is *preposterous*

Maik Merten maikmerten at gmail.com
Tue Dec 11 05:36:38 PST 2007

Ian Hickson schrieb:
> One would imagine that they would happily take new risks if the rewards 
> were great (e.g. a better codec). Sadly the rewards in the case of Ogg 
> Theora are low -- there isn't much content using Theora, and Theora isn't 
> technically an especially compelling codec compared to other contemporary 
> codecs like, say, H.264.

If keeping the web free of IP licensing horrors and being interoperable 
with as many players as possible (commercial and non-commercial 
entities, open source or not, free software or not) isn't much of a 
reason things are looking cheerless for the web indeed.

I don't exactly see why the web should embrace non-free standards just 
because the big players made the "mistake" of licensing 
definitely-encumbered formats and are unwilling to "take further risks". 
(I am aware this is a pretty hard wording and that things aren't quite 
that easy.)

The old wording was a SHOULD requirement. No MUST. If the big players 
don't want to take the perceived risk (their decision) they'd still be 
100% within the spec. Thus I fail to see why there was need for action.

> One way to get a company like Apple to want to take the risk of 
> implementing Theora would be to cause there to be a large pool of existing 
> Theora content out there. Obviously, this presents a bootstrapping problem 
> (aka a "chicken and egg" problem).

In a world where content is served on a per-user basis (streaming, DRM 
encrypted media files) I don't think this is much of an argument. HTML5 
is a future standard which will serve future content.

> I think the current wording in the spec is actually biased towards the 
> small players more than the big ones, but if you think it's the other way 
> around then I probably have struck the right balance.

I was specifically thinking of the "additional submarine patent risk for 
large companies" part. Nobody wants to get struck by a submarine, so 
either this requirement should be extended to all sort of entities or 
dropped completely (as its hard by definition to make an informed 
statement about submarine patents).


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