Re: [rtcweb] Plan for MTI video codec?

Adam Roach <adam@nostrum.com> Fri, 24 October 2014 23:32 UTC

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Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:32:38 -0500
From: Adam Roach <adam@nostrum.com>
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To: Stephan Wenger <stewe@stewe.org>, Watson Ladd <watsonbladd@gmail.com>, Alexandre GOUAILLARD <agouaillard@gmail.com>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Plan for MTI video codec?
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On 10/22/14 14:45, Stephan Wenger wrote:
> I have to make one correction in the light of information that has
> surfaced at the MPEG meeting currently ongoing in Strasbourg.  (I’m not at
> that meeting this time, but a colleague is and she briefed me.)
> Nokia has made MPEG and ISO/IEC officially aware that they are not willing
> to license essential patents under RAND terms.  For those with MPEG
> document access, please see M34917.  The official declaration is dated
> 9/19/2014, and is not yet available from the respective databases, as ISO
> is apparently changing its recordation infrastructure.

Thanks for the update.

That's actually even more interesting than it first appears to be. The 
official rationale previously offered by Nokia was that the refusal to 
license patents [0] for VP8 was that VP8 had not been through an 
appropriate standards process [1]. The fact that Nokia is now using 
those same patents to *block* VP8-based work from going through an 
appropriate standards process pretty clearly exposes that claim as 
false. This isn't aimed at ensuring "open and collaborative efforts for 
standardization": this is aimed at suppressing technology.

To be clear, my position remains that either VP8 or H.264 would be a 
suitable MTI, and (although not my preference) I would accept a 
situation in which both are required. Which is to say that I don't 
really have much at stake in the MTI conversation (as long as we do 
eventually do something to guarantee interop). But it does seem that 
Nokia isn't being forthcoming about its motives here, and I find that 
pretty distasteful. I would have preferred silence over lies.


> My understanding of the joint ITU/ISO/IEC patent policy is that no
> standard can be issued that has a type 3 declaration against it.  To the
> best of my knowledge, ISO has no established procedure how to deal with
> type 3 (non-RAND) declarations and still keep the standard project going.
> Unlike, for example, W3C and its Patent Advisory Groups.
> The declaration does not list specific patents. To the best of my
> knowledge, such info is not required (only desired) for ISO and IEC
> standardization work--one of the few differences in patent policy
> guidelines between ITU and ISO/IEC.
> Therefore, I have to row back on my previous statement of likeliness of
> having an ISO number for VP8 anytime soon.  At this point, I just don’t
> know whether, if ever, that will happen.


I find the ISO policy as stated to be curious -- if it doesn't require 
citing patents, and categorically refuses to issue specs with type 3 
declarations, I could effectively reduce the ISO output to zero by 
mechanically claiming a type 3 declaration on every specification under 
development.

/a

____
[0] For absolute clarity, I make no assertion one way or another about 
the applicability of such patents to VP8.

[1] As quoted in uncountably many publications: "Nokia believes that 
open and collaborative efforts for standardization are in the best 
interests of consumers, innovators and the industry as a whole. We are 
now witnessing one company attempting to force the adoption of its 
proprietary technology, which offers no advantages over existing, widely 
deployed standards such as H.264 and infringes Nokia's intellectual 
property. As a result, we have taken the unusual step of declaring to 
the Internet Engineering Task Force that we are not prepared to license 
any Nokia patents which may be needed to implement its RFC6386 
specification for VP8, or for derivative codecs."