Re: [rtcweb] One consuming project's concerns with OpenH264 as a MTI codec

"Matthew Kaufman (SKYPE)" <matthew.kaufman@skype.net> Wed, 06 November 2013 21:24 UTC

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From: "Matthew Kaufman (SKYPE)" <matthew.kaufman@skype.net>
To: Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger@gmail.com>, "rtcweb@ietf.org" <rtcweb@ietf.org>
Thread-Topic: [rtcweb] One consuming project's concerns with OpenH264 as a MTI codec
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Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2013 21:23:03 +0000
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] One consuming project's concerns with OpenH264 as a MTI codec
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Which "non-patent-enumbered" codec did you have in mind?

Matthew Kaufman

> -----Original Message-----
> From: rtcweb-bounces@ietf.org [mailto:rtcweb-bounces@ietf.org] On
> Behalf Of Toshio Kuratomi
> Sent: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 1:12 PM
> To: rtcweb@ietf.org
> Subject: [rtcweb] One consuming project's concerns with OpenH264 as a MTI
> codec
> 
> 
> Greetings,
> 
> I serve on the Engineering Steering Committee for the Fedora Project, a
> Linux Distribution.  A few days ago we were asked if we could give input on
> OpenH264 becoming a MTI codec in the rtcweb standard.  We discussed the
> issue at our weekly meeting and agreed on this statement:
> 
> 
> Fedora is a distribution that cares about software freedom and our users
> freedom. Firstly, we cannot ship binary-only prebuilt software within Fedora.
> This rules out inclusion of OpenH264 binaries direct from Cisco, or other
> providers. Secondly, we cannot ship software built from source which is not
> free for any use, freely distributable, and free from patent restrictions.
> Therefore, Fedora is similarly unable to ship rebuilt OpenH264 code.
> 
> Fedora would be much happier with a non-patent encumbered codec in the
> standard as it would relieve us of the burden of caring for a codec
> implementation that we cannot fix if it is buggy on our platform, let us ship
> improved or more efficient versions of the codec if that is asked for, and
> relieve us of the burden of making sure all implementors of the standard
> were using a proper technique to retrieve the patent-encumbered portion
> from the internet so that we weren't shipping non-free code.
> 
> Acceptance of an insufficiently-free license of the OpenH264 codec would
> mean that open-source vendors are not able to implement it on their own
> terms. They must rely on the implementation provided by a third party
> (Cisco) and create workarounds to have the user download that
> implementation after installation, increasing the burden on open-source
> users. This creates an unequal environment for open-source vendors.
> 
> 
> I hope that helps in your decision making.
> 
> Thank you for your time,
> Toshio Kuratomi