[foms] Just Arrived

Mark Watson watsonm at netflix.com
Wed Nov 10 16:03:18 PST 2010

On Nov 10, 2010, at 2:14 PM, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 8:35 AM, Steve Lhomme <slhomme at matroska.org> wrote:
>> By the way, were there considerations on patents on this ? For
>> example, did Apple patent any of their technique of cutting chunks or
>> maybe on the encoder side.
> We had a discussion about this - see the thread at
> http://lists.annodex.net/cgi-bin/mailman/private/foms/2010-October/000764.html
> . I have asked Apple directly about the patent situation, but never
> really got a clear answer. I assume there may be defensive patents.
> Apple is actively contributing to the DASH effort of MPEG, which seems
> to have a clear aim to be unencumbered.

Just to clarify, in case that statement came from comments I've made: it's clear to the main participants in MPEG DASH that if anyone were to try and charge royalties for MPEG DASH that would effectively kill it, because there are free (non-standard) alternatives. This is not a new video codec. But there has been no formal discussion about this topic. There probably will be (at some point) a discussion on whether MPEG participants could commit to royalty-free terms, but getting a formal commitment is very different from the situation where it just happens that no-one attempts to assert anything.

But in any case, my feeling is that the biggest IPR risk for HTTP Streaming generally does not come from the companies currently involved with any of these efforts.

A further point on this: it was suggested in another thread that using a different manifest format (JSON was mentioned) avoids IPR issues. This seems unlikely to me. A format in itself is unlikely to be novel, it is the information contained and the associated procedures which might be patented and you are equally likely to hit those - if indeed there are any valid patents out there - whatever format you use.

Btw, Apple's IPR statement for the pantos draft is here: http://datatracker.ietf.org/ipr/1142/

>> Also is javascript a requirement for this ? Or just pointing to a
>> proper URL would be enough for the browser to know it's adaptative and
>> handle it silently ?
> Ultimately it will be the simplest solution for publishers to just
> plug a URL to a manifest file into the @src attribute of the <video>
> element, just like Apple already do for the m3u8 files and support it
> in Safari. But it is a rather big change to HTML5 and a big
> implementation task for the browser vendors and it is not clear yet
> what would be the best approach, since all the handling around such a
> file format as well as the file format itself need to be standardized.
> Therefore, the first step towards this is through JavaScript. Also, it
> will be important to have both options such that a Web developer can
> adapt the adaptive HTTP streaming approach to their needs.
> Cheers,
> Silvia.
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