Re: [rtcweb] Finishing up the Video Codec document, MTI (again, still, sorry)

David Singer <> Thu, 04 December 2014 20:29 UTC

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From: David Singer <>
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Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2014 12:29:20 -0800
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To: Roman Shpount <>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Finishing up the Video Codec document, MTI (again, still, sorry)
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> On Dec 4, 2014, at 12:15 , Roman Shpount <> wrote:
> David,
> The other answer is "Ship H.264. Most of you are going to get sued. Good luck settling." The risk associated with licensing H.264 is very high for any company who is not already part of this quagmire.

I beg to disagree.  I am unaware of any problem from any company that has not made clear RAND declarations to the appropriate bodies, and most of those are members of MPEG-LA, so though it’s not quite a one-stop shop, it’s close.

Not only is there a formal “unwilling to license” on the table for VP8, it was not developed by the companies active in this area, and with significant portfolios, and (as Nokia shows) they may not find themselves under  formal or moral obligation to license at all.

> There are enough problems there to hire an IPR law firm the second you look at H.264 and hope that they are professional enough and there is enough money to settle.  I do understand that companies who are already stuck with H.264 would not want to be exposed to any additional IPR claims. There is also a little problem that if they implement VP8, they cannot sue any other VP8 implementers, or risk losing the VP8 IPR license.

True, we would get some protection from practicing entities.

> Being a small company, we had to go through patent law suite/settlement process several times already. Being small is not a defense against getting sued.

Not what Silvia was hoping to hear.

> Some IPR holders prefer to start with going after smaller players to create a large precedent base before going after larger targets. As far as possibility of being sued is concerned, the free VP8 license actually looks safer for us then the paid H.264 license. Neither offers indemnity, but, at least, VP8 license offers reciprocity.

I think there is also some defensive suspension in the H.264 licenses, but I would have to check.

> I do think that the current solution is the only one currently possible. If everyone implements both, then everyone would be forced to deal with the same problems.

“We may as well all drown together” — it’s not very cheery, is it?

> Hopefully, as a result, some sort of collective resolution would be found. I doubt anybody is happy with this decision. There are a parties who are affected by this decision who can make the situation better for everybody. If they think this decision is so bad, they know exactly what is required to make other options acceptable.

I wish.

> _____________
> Roman Shpount
> On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 2:25 PM, David Singer <> wrote:
> > On Dec 3, 2014, at 21:16 , Silvia Pfeiffer <> wrote:
> >
> > Indeed, that's why I said point 1. in David's list doesn't make sense, since he's talking about a small company getting sued by Nokia.
> So, your conclusion to my question is “Ship VP8, most of you probably won’t get sued. Good luck.  Try not to be too successful or your luck may change.”
> It is an answer; I don’t think it’s a good one, myself.
> David Singer
> Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.
> _______________________________________________
> rtcweb mailing list

David Singer
Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.