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

Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger@gmail.com> Thu, 07 November 2013 14:40 UTC

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Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2013 06:38:56 -0800
From: Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger@gmail.com>
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
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Cc: rtcweb@ietf.org
Subject: Re: [rtcweb] One consuming project's concerns with OpenH264 as a MTI codec
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On Thu, Nov 07, 2013 at 03:00:58PM +0900, David Singer wrote:
> Note that you would not have to include it in your distribution; you could
> suggest it in your installer, for example, and if the suggestion is taken,
> facilitate the install.
> 
Yes we could but... Although that specific strategy wasn't mentioned, the
general gist of it would fall in line with the final two paragraphs of the
statement.  We can institute a number of workarounds to retrieve the code,
it puts a number of burdens on us and our users that don't exist for a codec
that doesn't have patent concerns.  Those burdens and workarounds are
something that open source developers and users spend long hours
implementing, maintaining, and researching how to use when no alternative
exists.   In this case, though, an alternative does exist and we would be
eager to see that alternative be the route taken.

-Toshio

> 
> On Nov 7, 2013, at 6:11 , Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> > 
> > 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
> > _______________________________________________
> > rtcweb mailing list
> > rtcweb@ietf.org
> > https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/rtcweb
> 
> David Singer
> Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
>