Re: [rtcweb] MTI Video Codec: a novel proposal

Lorenzo Miniero <> Mon, 10 November 2014 02:27 UTC

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Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2014 03:26:52 +0100
From: Lorenzo Miniero <>
To: Adam Roach <>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] MTI Video Codec: a novel proposal
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Hi Adam,

I was one of the "VP8 or die" advocates, but I can definitely
understand your points and frustration about where this endless fight
lead and left us.

As long as all the major user agents will actually comply (I'm
especially thinking about the one that are currently "missing"),
I'd be ok with mandating both as you suggest.


On Sun, 09 Nov 2014 16:08:25 -1000
Adam Roach <> wrote:

> It appears that we're running headlong into another in-person
> discussion about the relative merits of H.264 and VP8 as MTI
> candidates again. Matthew Kaufman has argued that this conversation
> is doomed to failure because no major player has been willing to
> change their position. The players he cited were Cisco, Google, and
> Mozilla, who have represented the three main positions on this topic
> pretty effectively. Although we participate as individuals in the
> IETF, I think it's fair to say that the last time we had this
> conversation, the median positions of participants from those
> companies were "H.264 or die", "VP8 or die", and "either one as long
> as it's *only* one", respectively.
> However, even if nothing else has changed, I think one salient point
> may have become quite important: we're all tired of this. Over two
> years ago, in March of 2012 -- before I even had an particular
> interest in WebRTC except as a user -- this had already become such a
> long-running acrimonious debate that I was brought in as a neutral
> third party to try to mediate. I'm weary of this argument; and, with
> the exception of a few aggressive voices who seem to enjoy the battle
> more than the outcome, I'm hearing a similar exhausted timbre in the
> messages of other participants (and the key stakeholders in
> particular).
> So, I want to float a proposal that represents a compromise, to see
> if we can finally close this issue. First, I want to start out by 
> reiterating a well-worn observation that the hallmark of a good 
> compromise is that nobody leaves happy, but everyone can force 
> themselves to accept it. And I want to be crystal clear: the solution 
> I'm about to float just barely clears the bar of what I think I can
> live with. This proposal is based on an observation that the
> dominating issues in this conversation remain those of licensing, not
> technology or even incumbency. I’ve discussed this extensively with
> representatives of all three of the players I mention above, and they
> are willing to sign on.
> This proposal is based on the definitions of "WebRTC User Agent", 
> "WebRTC device", and "WebRTC-compatible endpoint" in section 2.2 of 
> draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview-12.txt. My proposal would be as follows:
>  1. WebRTC User Agents MUST implement both VP8 and H.264.
>  2. WebRTC devices MUST implement both VP8 and H.264. If compelling
>     evidence arises that one of the codecs is available for use on a
>     royalty-free basis, such as all IPR declarations known for the
> codec being of (IETF) Royalty-Free or (ISO) type 1, the IETF will
> change this normative statement to indicate that only that codec is
>     required. For absolute, crystal clarity, this provision is only
>     applicable to WebRTC devices, and not to WebRTC User Agents.
>  3. WebRTC-compatible endpoints are free to implement any video codecs
>     they see fit, if any (this follows logically from the definition
> of "WebRTC-compatible endpoint," and doesn't really need to be stated,
>     but I want this proposal to be as explicit as possible).
> This has the property of ensuring that all devices and user agents
> can work with all devices and user agents. This has the property of
> giving no one exactly what they want. And, unlike any other previous
> plans, this has the property of coming to a decision while
> maintaining pressure on the only parties who can make a change in the
> IPR landscape to do so.
> /a