[codec] Royalty Free codec standards -- don't settle for less

Rob Glidden <rob.glidden@sbcglobal.net> Wed, 11 November 2009 01:22 UTC

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Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 17:22:20 -0800
From: Rob Glidden <rob.glidden@sbcglobal.net>
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Subject: [codec] Royalty Free codec standards -- don't settle for less
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Here is my view, perhaps you share it, perhaps you don't.

What the world needs now is royalty-free, standardized codecs.  This is 
critical to the future of the Web, and the progress the Internet has 
brought to the world, and will bring to the world.

Video, audio, transport, the whole thing.  Evaluated, vetted for 
patents. Under an appropriate, responsible and complete royalty free 
process.  No less.

IETF, ITU, and ISO/MPEG should all get going on this important activity 
-- after all why shouldn't all of these organizations include this as 
core to their mission.

I have, and no doubt you have too, seen countless explanations why this 
should not, could not, will not, rather not, might not, or can not 
happen.  Some well meaning and sincere, some from vested interests.  
There are too many "powerful" interests against it.  "Important" 
commercial interests are ambivalent.  It is too hard "legally" or 
"politically" or "technically".  It is just too confusing to think 
through.  There is no longer a critical mass that cares enough about 
keeping the future of the Open Internet open and royalty free.  The well 
meaning are ignorant, or naive.  Etc.

Don't settle.  Take the issue of royalty free, standardized codecs all 
the way to the top of these organizations. Do what it takes.  If it 
requires new organizations, start them. It it requires revised 
processes, revise them. This is the spirit that built the Web and the 
Internet, this is the spirit that is its lifeblood, and this is the 
spirit that needs to be at the heart of its future.

Don't settle.  Don't let those who have tried hard already, or have only 
half-heartedly tried, justify the status quo or their half-heartedness.  
Encourage them to focus on how to take the next steps.  Don't let 
convenient "interpretations" of standards processes be an excuse for 
never starting, never finishing, or never setting up processes that will 
work.  Need more legal background?  Find it. More technical information? 
Get it.

Don't settle.  The world has plenty of patent-encumbered media 
standards, plenty of proprietary solutions, and plenty of standards in 
other domains that have figured out how to deliver royalty free.  But 
the world does not have enough royalty-free codec standards, so this is 
the task that needs to be addressed.