[whatwg] The truth about Nokias claims

Shannon shannon at arc.net.au
Thu Dec 13 21:12:18 PST 2007

Ian Hickson wrote:
> As far as I can tell, there are no satisfactory codecs today. If we are to 
> make progress, we need to change the landscape. There are various ways to 
> do this, for example:
>  * Make significant quantities of compelling content available using one 
>    of the royalty-free codecs, so that the large companies have a reason 
>    to take on the risk of supporting it.
* Put the chicken before the egg.
>  * Convince one of the largest companies to distribute a royalty-free 
>    codec, taking on the unknown liability, and make this widely known, to 
>    attract patent trolls.
* Wait till cows fly.
>  * Negotiate with the patent holders of a non-royalty-free codec to find a 
>    way that their codec can be used royalty-free.
* Wait till the sky turns green.
>  * Change the patent system in the various countries that are affected by 
>    the patent trolling issue. (It's not just the US.)
* Wait till hell freezes over.

Your suggestions are impractical and you are smart enough to know that. 
You claim neutrality but YOU removed the Ogg recommendation and you 
haven't answered the IMPORTANT questions. I'll re-state:

1.) Does not implementing a SHOULD recommendation make a browser 
non-complaint (as far as validation goes)?
2.) What companies (if any) would abandon HTML5 based on a SHOULD 
3.) What is Google/Youtubes' official position (as the largest internet 
video provider)? I assume they are reading this list and I'm guessing 
you still work for them.
4.) What prevents a third party plugin open-source from providing Ogg 
support on Safari and Nokia browsers?
5.) Why are we waiting for ALL parties to agree when we all know they 
won't? Why can't the majority have their way in the absence of 100% 
6.) How much compelling content is required before the draft is 
reverted. Does Wikipeadia count as compelling?

Answering these questions is the way forward, not back-and-forthing over 
legal issues.

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Dec 2007, Shannon wrote:
>> Arguing the definition of "proprietary" and "standards" is irrelevant. 
>> Neither has any bearing on the problem which is that in 2010 the MPEG-LA 
>> (of which Nokia is a member) will impose fees on all use of h.264 on the 
>> Internet equivalent to those of 'free television'. As near as I can tell 
>> that will mean all websites serving h.264 content will be liable for 
>> fees of between $2,500 - $10,000 USD per annum. This makes it 
>> inappropriate for any public standard and makes other technical and 
>> legal comparisons between Ogg and h.264 irrelevant. x264 is a nice 
>> program but it is doubtful it is exempt from these fees nor is the 
>> content it produces or the websites that host them.
> Again, as far as I can tell nobody is actually suggesting requiring H.264. 
> I don't think it is productive to really discuss whether H.264 would be a 
> possible codec at this time, since it clearly isn't.
Nokia certainly seem to be suggesting this, and they helped start this 
>> The ONLY issue here is about the inclusion of Ogg as a SUGGESTION (not 
>> requirement) and the ONLY argument against the format is that it *might* 
>> be subject to submarine patents - however since this applies to EVERY 
>> video codec and even HTML5 itself it is also irrelevant.
> No, the issue is about finding a codec that everyone will implement. To 
> that end, Theora is not an option, since we have clear statements from 
> multiple vendors that they will not implement Theora.
> Again, as I noted in this e-mail:
>    http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2007-December/013411.html
> I would please like to ask everyone participating in this discussion to 
> focus on the future and on how we can move forward.
I am focusing on the future. I do not want Flash to become the defacto 
video standard. Inaction is still an action in this case.

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