[whatwg] Video codec requirements changed

L. David Baron dbaron at dbaron.org
Tue Dec 11 15:27:30 PST 2007

On Tuesday 2007-12-11 02:39 +0000, Ian Hickson wrote:
> I've temporarily removed the requirements on video codecs from the HTML5 
> spec, since the current text isn't helping us come to a useful 
> interoperable conclusion. When a codec is found that is mutually 
> acceptable to all major parties I will update the spec to require that 
> instead and then reply to all the pending feedback on video codecs.
>    http://www.whatwg.org/issues/#graphics-video-codec

The text you replaced the requirements with [1] includes the
requirement that the codec:

# is not an additional submarine patent risk for large companies

Is this something that can be measured objectively, or is it a
loophole that allows any sufficiently large company to veto the
choice of codec for any reason it chooses, potentially including not
wanting the <video> element to succeed in creating an open standard
for video on the Web?


[1] In full, the text is:
# 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.
from http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/section-video.html#video

L. David Baron                                 http://dbaron.org/
Mozilla Corporation                       http://www.mozilla.com/

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