[video-codec] The Can Has Landed

Monty Montgomery <xiphmont@gmail.com> Thu, 19 March 2015 15:33 UTC

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Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:33:36 -0400
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From: Monty Montgomery <xiphmont@gmail.com>
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Subject: [video-codec] The Can Has Landed
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Hello to everyone interested in Daala, NetVC, and the run up to
the netvc BoF on Tuesday at IETF92 in Dallas!

While I'm mentioning the BoF I'd also like to remind folks that
the Hackathon on Saturday and Sunday includes NetVC and a decent
portion of our own Daala team will be there.  Physical attendance
at the hackathon required registration that's already closed due
to the limits of the room, but the Daala team will be in the
#daala IRC channel on Freenode the whole time, pretty much like
we always are... online participation is always welcome and

And now to the pep talk...

In 2013, Cisco announced the OpenH264 licensing hack as a step
toward ending a long-standing and frustratingly non-technical
roadblock to WebRTC: h.264, though dominant, is unlicenseable
by Free and Open Source entities.   I wrote at the time that although I
supported the practical aspects of the OpenH264 deal, "Licensing
caused this problem, and more licensing is not a solution. [...]
We've merely kicked the can down the road and set a dangerous
precedent for next time around."*

We're now standing where the can takes its first bounce.

NetVC is our collective opportunity to reverse that precedent and
to give the Internet and Open Web the only fundamental Free
technology it lacks: a fully modern video codec with no
'permission required' strings attached.  The elevator pitch here
is very simple: We must make for video what Opus is for audio.
Video will never be a first-class citizen on the Net so long as
it is only available to the 'haves' who are able to license the
required commercial technology.

Judging by the relative calm of the netvc mailing list, I don't
think we (the proponets of netvc) face the same kind of
controversy this time around as we did at the time of 'codec'
BoFs.  That's a bit ironic, actually, as a video codec is a
substantially more challenging technical undertaking.

I do think there likely is some quiet skepticism-- there would
have to be-- and so I'd like to invite the skeptics and Devil's
Advocates to speak up here in the days before the BoF.  I doubt
it will shorten the lines at the microphones, but perhaps the
arguments will be more focused and better honed at that time.

I'm not saying 'speak now or forever hold your peace'.  I'm just
trying to shift the discussions that would normally start in
a cramped uncomfortable room to the mailing list a little early.

of Xiph Moz Daala

* http://xiphmont.livejournal.com/61927.html