[whatwg] Video Tag Proposal

Aaron Franco aaron at ngrinder.com
Sat Mar 27 18:45:03 PDT 2010

I can see how it is counter productive in the creation of the  
specification, but the fact that such licensing is being considered  
for what is supposed to be "open & free" is counter productive to the  
advancement of web technologies. I feel we cannot allow companies like  
Microsoft and Apple to take advantage of such patents. Allowing the H. 
264 to be a part of the spec without it being royalty free only gives  
those corporations more control over invention and publication on the  
internet. The WHATWG and the HTML5 spec should be focusing on creating  
a breeding ground of innovation and invention. Not looking for the  
quickest route to implementation.

In reply to your question, the outlined goals of the W3C state the  
following in regards to proprietary patents being included in their  
establish Royalty-Free implementation as a goal for Recommendations  
produced by new and re-chartered Working Groups;
encourage maximum disclosure of patents that might prevent a W3C  
Recommendation from being implemented on a Royalty-Free basis;
provide a process for addressing situations in which the goal of  
Royalty-Free implementation may not be attainable.
Allowing the H.264 codec in the spec goes against all of these  

On Mar 28, 2010, at 2:07 AM, Gregory Maxwell wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 8:53 PM, Aaron Franco <aaron at ngrinder.com>  
> wrote:
>> Hello WHATWG,
>> Due to the proprietary nature of the H.264 codec and the expensive  
>> licensing
>> fees that go along with it, I propose that the MPEGLA and the  
>> Licensors of
>> the codec disclose the patents royalty free if the codec is  
>> included as a
>> part of the HTML5 specification. I am aware that this is already a
>> requirement of the W3C, but it seems the license has not been  
>> disclosed yet.
> The licensing income from mpeg codecs results to billions of dollars
> per year in aggregate.  What reason would the patent owners have for
> forgoing this income?  I believe that for some of the licensing
> companies the royalty income from these formats is their only income.
> Even if the adoption of alternative codecs in the context of the web
> severely reduced income from H.264, some income is still more than no
> income.
> Without a reasonable response to these questions I can't see how such
> a discussion on that whatwg list could have hope of being productive.

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