p2pnet news | Open Source:- Should Ogg Theora (video) and Ogg Vorbis (audio), neither of them subject patent licensing fees, be default formats for the planned video and audio elements in HTML 5 browsers?
The question sparked heated debates and, “Ian Hickson, a Google employee involved in Google’s work with the W3C and responsible for editing the forthcoming HTML 5 specification, has made a clean break,” says Heise Online.
Following endless public and private discussions, he’s concluded no codecs, “are likely to attract a consensus among the members of the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) for integration into their browsers,” he says in a post on WHATWG, according to the story,which goes on:
“These could be used for playing back multimedia content on the internet without requiring the installation of proprietary plug-ins. Some firms, for example, feared a risk of “submarine patents“, while others advocated the much more efficient H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC), although it does incur licence fees.”
Heise says Hickson summarizes the views of browser developers like this »»»
- Apple declines to integrate Ogg Theora into the QuickTime used by Safari, pointing to a lack of hardware support and the uncertain patent situation.
- Although Google has incorporated H.264 and Theora into its Chrome browser, it says Ogg Theora doesn’t yet deliver the “quality per bit” required for YouTube sites.
- Nor does Google feel in a position to supply an H.264 licence to Chrome distributors.
- Mozilla argues the same point and has backed Theora for Firefox 3.5.
- Opera refuses to integrate H.264, finding the licence fees incredibly high.
- Microsoft hasn’t yet said whether it’s even considering supporting the viceo element.
But, “If Ogg Theora is further improved, if hardware supports the format, and if Google distributes the codec for long enough without being sued, Theora could become the de facto web standard,” Hickson says.
The situation with audio isn’t quite so dramatic, “because besides Ogg Vorbis and MPEG 4 AAC there are many more options,” and, “There’s also the fact that the patents for the de facto web standard MP3 will expire in a few years’ time.”
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Heise Online – No mandatory audio and video codecs in HTML 5, July 6, 2009
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