Re: [rtcweb] ~"I'd love it if patents evaporated...If not now, when"

Basil Mohamed Gohar <basilgohar@librevideo.org> Tue, 12 November 2013 22:14 UTC

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Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2013 17:14:24 -0500
From: Basil Mohamed Gohar <basilgohar@librevideo.org>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] ~"I'd love it if patents evaporated...If not now, when"
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On 11/12/2013 04:53 PM, Mike Linksvayer wrote:
> Hi all,
> 
<snip>
> 
> I strongly support VP8 for MTI, and oppose H.264. Undecided on which
> of both, either, or neither would be second best. My reason is simply
> that FLOSS (and any entity for which users downloading a binary from
> Cisco next year is unworkable) is second class at best in the H.264
> case, while VP8 is demonstrably acceptable.
> 
> I think I appreciate the arguments for H.264, which all (including
> those about legal risk) boil down to H.264 having a longer history
> and greater adoption in other applications. Those don't flip me,
> because, again, FLOSS is my baseline requirement. I realize that some
> large companies have different baselines. Frankly, I don't care if the
> legal risk to large companies is slightly different for either codec:
> if trolls come out after mass implementation of WebRTC, the relevant
> companies have resources to fight them, and more incentive to fix the
> troll situation and/or end software patents in the interim, the better.
<snip>
> 
> Mike

For brevity, I snipped the pieces that I thought didn't need repeating
above.  I, for one, simply wanted to say I was thinking of writing
something similar, for basically the same reasons.

By not standing for freedom and openness now, if I may use those terms,
we are becoming complicit in prolonging the stranglehold that the
current patent quagmire that exists today.  By giving in, we are
basically admitting a win.  When even the proponents of the
patent-encumbered format bemoan the problems of the system, we have to
wonder, if their cries are sincere, why they won't also join the FLOSS
folks.

The thing is, there is absolutely nothing that can be done if H.264 is
the standard that cannot be done with VP8, but such a thing is not true
the other way around due to the obvious requirements of licensing needed
for H.264.

And, in fact, there already exists a strong installed based supporting
VP8, so it's not like choosing VP8 will kill the standard.

We cannot change the patent landscape of H.264 as long MPEG-LA and it's
partners operate the way they always have.  However, I would like to
know what, if anything, is stopping the providers that want to use H.264
from choosing VP8, and if we can work toward a solution that way.

The problem is, this involves sincerity from those participating, and we
have no way of guaranteeing that.

I apologize I don't have a solution here, but I know one exists.  We
just haven't found one yet.

-- 
Libre Video
http://librevideo.org