[whatwg] several messages regarding Ogg in HTML5

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Dec 12 00:47:17 PST 2007

On Wed, 12 Dec 2007, alex wrote:
> >
> > We have to take into accounts the needs of everyone. This includes 
> > large companies. If large companies will only accept codecs that 
> > they've already implemented, then that may have to be one of the 
> > criteria.
> This conflicts with:
> > Whatever solution we find will be one that is royalty free and open. 
> > That is not in any doubt.
> You can't have it both ways. 

We could, if one of the codecs that was implemented by large companies 
(e.g. H.264 Baseline) was made available royalty-free.

It could also be the case that the aforementioned large companies will 
accept a compromise that doesn't involve a codec they already implement.

Currently there is no known solution. That's why we're in this mess. But, 
as they say, top people are working on this.

> > If the text moves to requiring a non-free codec, then you will have 
> > been screwed, and then you should raise almightly hell. However, no 
> > such decision has been made (and no such decision will ever be made, 
> > at least not while I'm involved).
> Pfew, can we get a signed copy of that? :P

It's already in the spec:

# [...] 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 [...]

> The way i see it there are 3 possibilities so far:
> - use ogg, possible (but negligable) risk of submarine patents

This is basically as acceptable to companies like Apple as H.264 is to the 
free software community.

> - use extremely old technology

Unfortunately this is unlikely to give us the quality we desire, but it is 
possible that we will have to compromise on this option.

> - use another free codec which has a 100% guarantee that there are no
> patentholders lurking
> 	this does not exist (afaik)


> At the end of the day, I think little choice remains except ogg.

Ogg isn't a choice, unfortunately. I agree that little choice remains, 
though. But this is an open issue, and experts in the field are actively 
trying to resolve it to everyone's satisfaction.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

More information about the whatwg mailing list