[whatwg] on codecs in a 'video' tag.

Dave Singer singer at apple.com
Wed Mar 28 17:58:36 PDT 2007

At 9:48  +0100 28/03/07, Gervase Markham wrote:
>Dave Singer wrote:
>>Yes.  I re-iterate;  we have nothing aganist the Ogg or Theora 
>>codecs;  we just don't have a commercial reason to implement them, 
>>and we'd rather not have the HTML spec. try to force the issue.  It 
>>just gets ugly (like the 3G exception).
>But that's circular reasoning. "We don't have a commercial reason to 
>implement Ogg or Theora, and so we'd rather not have the HTML spec 
>give us a commercial reason."

No, writing it into the HTML specification is not a commercial 
reason.  That's an attempt to force the issue by fiat.

>If the HTML spec said that Theora support was a SHOULD, and the 
>other browser manufacturers were implementing it, then you would 
>have a commercial reason.

No matter what the spec. says, if broad support became a reality, 
then yes, it may be in our commercial interests.  And at that point 
there would be many companies using the codec in a money-making way, 
with 'pockets', and we'd be clearer about the likelihood of IPR 

>If you have nothing against Ogg or Theora, and your "interest in 
>multi-vendor multimedia standards is deep and long-lasting, 
>interoperable, and very open", and other parties have said that a 
>baseline codec for video needs to be open and (as far as can be 
>discerned) patent and royalty-free, then surely your position must 
>one one of the following:
>- You don't actually want a baseline codec in the spec - i.e. you 
>don't actually have a commitment to interoperability

we have a strong commitment to interoperability in each spec. on its own right

>- You do want a baseline codec in the spec, but you are happy for it 
>to be someone other people can't implement - i.e. you don't actually 
>have a commitment to multi-vendor multimedia standards

anyone *can* implement the codecs we implement;  they may choose not 
to, for commercial reasons (e.g. they don't like the license)

>- You do want a baseline codec in the spec, and want it to be one 
>everyone can implement - i.e. you are happy for Ogg Theora (or 
>another codec with a similar IP position, such as Dirac) to be it

Until someone starts using the Ogg family to make money, and in such 
a way that any possible IPR owners consider it in their business 
interests to start enforcing their IPR, the situation remains in 
question.  We have nothing against these codecs, but we are not 
currently feeling like being the guinea-pig...

How about

- we'd an HTML specification which is clear and interoperable on the 
HTML level, and is in a similar position to the img tag on what may 
be embedded (it mentions only examples)
David Singer
Apple Computer/QuickTime

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