[whatwg] Codecs (was Re: Apple Proposal for Timed Media Elements)

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Fri Mar 23 05:29:18 PDT 2007

Gareth Hay wrote:
>>> At best, we can only conclude that this is a very grey area 
>>> throughout different regions of the world, and as such, is not only 
>>> out with the scope of this list, but possibly of the spec itself.
>> That's a non-sequitur.
> Why does it not follow?

The fact that there is legal uncertainty about an issue does not mean it 
is out of scope of the list. If there were legal uncertainty about 
whether it's even possible to embed any sort of video in the browser 
without violating a patent, the topic of embedding video in the browser 
would still be in scope.

In other words, the scope of this list or of the spec does not vary 
depending on the legal situation in different world regions. Therefore, 
what you said is a non-sequitur.

>>> Unless legal advice can be sought from all potential markets, I think 
>>> we are all arguing in vein and should conclude to distance ourselves 
>>> from including this type of thing in  the spec.
>> That's the fallacy of unattainable perfection.
> Ok, so in risk analysis terminology, it is a risk to seek no legal 
> advice on a legal topic, to reduce that risk we should get the input of 
> as many different qualified legal persons from as many different regions 
> as possible.

As others have pointed out, every current standard with which the 
WHAT-WG works has legal issues associated with it. Up to this point, 
WHAT-WG has not let that fact paralyse it until lawyers give the go-ahead.

I am not denying the need to examine the legal situation when deciding 
on our attitude to the codec question. I am denying that the situation 
is so unclear that a person of ordinary intelligence (and we have many 
people smarter than that) cannot understand the shape of it and make 
working decisions accordingly.


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