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

Victor Pascual Avila <> Tue, 11 November 2014 08:55 UTC

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Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 09:54:59 +0100
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From: Victor Pascual Avila <>
To: Mary Barnes <>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] MTI Video Codec: a novel proposal
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On Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 9:57 PM, Mary Barnes <> wrote:
> I agree with the proposal - I think this is as close as we will ever get on
> an agreed way forward.
> Regards,
> Mary.
> 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:
>> WebRTC User Agents MUST implement both VP8 and H.264.
>> 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.
>> 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
>> _______________________________________________
>> rtcweb mailing list
> _______________________________________________
> rtcweb mailing list

Victor Pascual Ávila