Re: [rtcweb] One consuming project's concerns with OpenH264 as a MTI codec

Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger@gmail.com> Wed, 06 November 2013 21:43 UTC

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Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2013 13:41:21 -0800
From: Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger@gmail.com>
To: "Matthew Kaufman (SKYPE)" <matthew.kaufman@skype.net>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] One consuming project's concerns with OpenH264 as a MTI codec
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On Wed, Nov 06, 2013 at 09:23:03PM +0000, Matthew Kaufman (SKYPE) wrote:
> Which "non-patent-enumbered" codec did you have in mind?
> 

Fedora currently ships VP8 and would consider it acceptable.

-Toshio

> Matthew Kaufman
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: rtcweb-bounces@ietf.org [mailto:rtcweb-bounces@ietf.org] On
> > Behalf Of Toshio Kuratomi
> > Sent: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 1:12 PM
> > To: rtcweb@ietf.org
> > Subject: [rtcweb] One consuming project's concerns with OpenH264 as a MTI
> > codec
> > 
> > 
> > Greetings,
> > 
> > I serve on the Engineering Steering Committee for the Fedora Project, a
> > Linux Distribution.  A few days ago we were asked if we could give input on
> > OpenH264 becoming a MTI codec in the rtcweb standard.  We discussed the
> > issue at our weekly meeting and agreed on this statement:
> > 
> > 
> > Fedora is a distribution that cares about software freedom and our users
> > freedom. Firstly, we cannot ship binary-only prebuilt software within Fedora.
> > This rules out inclusion of OpenH264 binaries direct from Cisco, or other
> > providers. Secondly, we cannot ship software built from source which is not
> > free for any use, freely distributable, and free from patent restrictions.
> > Therefore, Fedora is similarly unable to ship rebuilt OpenH264 code.
> > 
> > Fedora would be much happier with a non-patent encumbered codec in the
> > standard as it would relieve us of the burden of caring for a codec
> > implementation that we cannot fix if it is buggy on our platform, let us ship
> > improved or more efficient versions of the codec if that is asked for, and
> > relieve us of the burden of making sure all implementors of the standard
> > were using a proper technique to retrieve the patent-encumbered portion
> > from the internet so that we weren't shipping non-free code.
> > 
> > Acceptance of an insufficiently-free license of the OpenH264 codec would
> > mean that open-source vendors are not able to implement it on their own
> > terms. They must rely on the implementation provided by a third party
> > (Cisco) and create workarounds to have the user download that
> > implementation after installation, increasing the burden on open-source
> > users. This creates an unequal environment for open-source vendors.
> > 
> > 
> > I hope that helps in your decision making.
> > 
> > Thank you for your time,
> > Toshio Kuratomi