[CELT-dev] Xiph.Org, IETF75, a BoF, and some royalty free codecs

Monty Montgomery xiphmont at gmail.com
Tue Jul 28 02:26:58 PDT 2009

Hi folks, here's a press release (yes, sorry, sorry) regarding what's
going on with Xiph at the current IETF meeting.  Every time we're
asked 'why haven't you standardized any of your codecs through the
IETF?' we explain that we've been trying for coming up on ten years.
This release is about the latest step.  If we (along with the other
companies supporting unencumbered media) demonstrate enough support,
we may finally succeed in creating an IETF Working Group for
royalty-free wideband audio, and essential step to beginning the
standardization process.

Xiph.Org Supporting IETF Royalty Free Codecs BoF

For some years now, Xiph.Org has been gently advocating royalty
free codecs within the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) as
a viable and preferred alternative to patent-controlled
technologies. Recently more groups within the IETF have also come
forward to support free codec standardization work with in the
IETF. On July 30th at the next IETF Meeting (IETF 75 in
Stockholm[1]) the IETF will hold a codecs BoF to take input on
whether or not to form a standards Working Group for royalty free
audio codecs. The creation of such a Working Group would have a
major impact, opening the door to a Voice over IP stack
completely free of licensing and royalty constraints. We're
seeking to set up the same kind of open competition and
cooperation we've seen on the web that's given rise to tons of
investment and improvement in a very short period of time.

Giving input on the Working Group proposal does not require being in
Sweden for the IETF meeting; Those who cannot attend in person can
have their voice heard via the codec at jabber.ietf.org chat room or by
posting to the codec mailing list[2]. We encourage people to attend,
comment and discuss in person, via Jabber and on the mailing lists as
opponents of the WG proposal are expected to be well-organized and out
in force. The important thing is to clearly demonstrate that there is
a large number of people in favor of creating the new Working Group.

There are currently two draft submissions to be discussed at the
BoF. The first draft[3] describes the new Xiph.Org CELT codec[4] and
the second describes the Skype SILK codec[5]. These two draft
proposals complement each other nicely. There is also declared intent
to submit the SPIRIT IPMR wideband codec[6].

This Working Group proposal faces stiff opposition from current codec
patent holders who benefit from the status quo that allows them to
control competition from organizations whose business models cannot
support per-channel royalties. Now is a very good time to speak up on
this issue.

We hope to see you (physically or virtually) in large numbers for the
BoF. Xiph.Org will be represented in person at the meeting by
Christopher (Monty) Montgomery [Director] and Jean-Marc Valin [CELT
Project Lead]. The BoF will be at 13:00 Stockholm time, with times in
other timezones listed in [7]. The IETF will stream an mp3 audio
feed[8] of the BoF (and yes, we'll be setting up an Ogg feed of the
audio). Please refer to this page[9] for up-to-date information on the
BoF, as well as an update on the location of the Ogg audio feed.

(note: this effort is targeted at real-time audio codecs and is
independent from the HTML5 effort involving Vorbis and Theora at the

[1] http://www.ietf.org/meeting/75/
[2] https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/codec
[3] http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-valin-celt-codec-01
[4] http://www.celt-codec.org/
[5] http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-vos-silk-00
[6] http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/codec/current/msg00431.html
[7] http://tinyurl.com/stockholm-codec-bof
[8] http://feed.verilan.com/ietf/stream02.m3u
[9] http://people.xiph.org/~jm/bof_details.html

The Xiph.Org Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to
open, unencumbered multimedia technology. Xiph's formats and software
level the playing field for digital media so that all producers and
artists can distribute their work for minimal cost, without
restriction, regardless of affiliation. May contain traces of nuts.

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