[codec] Authors and disclosures, regarding Last Call: <draft-ietf-codec-opus-12.txt>

Joe Baker <jbakercto@gmail.com> Tue, 01 May 2012 19:33 UTC

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Date: Tue, 1 May 2012 19:33:38 +0000
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From: Joe Baker <jbakercto@gmail.com>
To: codec@ietf.org
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Subject: [codec] Authors and disclosures, regarding Last Call: <draft-ietf-codec-opus-12.txt>
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The 'possible royalty/fee' in some the of IPR disclosures is unacceptable
for my applications.  After a rather time consuming review my team has
advised that I do not need to be concerned about the currently disclosed
non-RF patents but we were unsure about undisclosed applications.

Fortunately the majority of the codec components have been disclosed
to the public for many years in earlier drafts and open source releases
by the draft authors.  I assume that the closed source usage of these
components goes back even further.

Can the authors of the draft please indicate when the major components
of the codec were first offered to the public, in any form, so we can
better gauge the risk of substantial components being covered by
undisclosed applications?

If there are any royalty bearing components in the codec they must be
removed if the the codec is to be usable for me.  Unfortunately, the
Huawei disclosures are so vague that they can hardly be considered
disclosures because they claim unpublished applications but do not
specify the subject matter.  These were only reported long after the
last call on the draft which might complicate removing anything in
response to them.  With such late and non-specific disclosures how
are we to express our preference to avoid non-RF encumbered
technologies?

I have audited the entire WG discussion archives, meeting minutes and
source code repositories and was not able to find any technical
contributions by anyone from Huawei.  I assume that the IETF policy
does not permit working group participants to follow the working group
and secretly patent the working group's inventions as their own?

It would be helpful if anyone here is aware that their specific technical
contributions will be covered by currently undisclosed applications which
may not have royalty free licensing if they would point them out to the
group so that we can decide if we should remove those parts.

I did notice one potentially important discrepancy.  There are many
more authors of the draft which are not are listed on it as authors. Are
these people treated equally to the listed authors in terms of the IETF
IPR disclosure requirements?  I believe some of them have never posted to
this list although I may have failed to match some of the names.

+- Descriptive text ---------------------+
|         Author           Lines  Pct Msg|
+----------------------------------------+
|Timothy B. Terriberry      4803  60%  Y |
|Jean-Marc Valin            2428  30%  Y |
|Koen Vos                    473   6%  Y |
|Gregory Maxwell             141   2%  Y |
|Kat Walsh                   112   1%  Y |
|Benjamin M. Schwartz         48  <1%  Y |
|Ralph Giles                  10  <1%  Y |
|Total--------------------- 8015 100%  - |
+----------------------------------------+

+- Formal specification -----------------+
|         Author           Lines  Pct Msg|
+----------------------------------------+
|Jean-Marc Valin           21152  42%  Y |
|Gregory Maxwell           20497  41%  Y |
|Koen Vos                   4111   8%  Y |
|Timothy B. Terriberry      3057   6%  Y |
|Ralph Giles                1329   3%  Y |
|John Ridges                  24  <1%  Y |
|Benjamin M. Schwartz         20  <1%  Y |
|Karsten Vandborg Sorensen    12  <1%  Y |
|Wessel Lubberhuizen           7  <1%  N |
|Thorvald Natvig               7  <1%  Y |
|Alfred E. Heggestad           2  <1%  Y |
|Christian Hoene               2  <1%  Y |
|Benjamin Jemlich              2  <1%  N |
|David Schleef                 1  <1%  N |
|Kat Walsh                     1  <1%  Y |
|Total-------------------- 50224 100%  - |
+----------------------------------------+

The file AUTHORS in the repository also lists
Soren Skak Jensen and the file COPYING lists
Mark Borgerding and Erik de Castro Lopo but
I am not able to find any revisions or list
posts by them.

Thank you.