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

Mary Barnes <> Mon, 10 November 2014 20:57 UTC

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Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:57:29 -0600
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From: Mary Barnes <>
To: Adam Roach <>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] MTI Video Codec: a novel proposal
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I agree with the proposal - I think this is as close as we will ever get on
an agreed way forward.


On Sun, Nov 9, 2014 at 8:08 PM, 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
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