[Foundation-l] REMINDER: Skypecast - Wikipedia Conversation from Florida

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Fri Aug 25 23:22:45 UTC 2006

On 8/25/06, Austin Hair <adhair at gmail.com> wrote:
> Sure, I've discussed it with several attorneys, and many more have
> discussed it ad nauseam on the various free software mailing lists.
> You can read more about MP3's patents and licensing on Wikipedia.

If we're going to being trying to argue from authority on this matter
I must caution you that I almost certantly outrank you on this

I frankly do not see how that line of debate is actually going to be
productive. Instead we should focus on pratical issues which are
material to the foundation.

> > It's inappropriate for us to make the files second class citizens, the
> > transcoded ones are fairly low quality. It was a mistake to record
> > directly into MP3 format...
> Harvard's equipment doesn't record Vorbis.  It'd be nice if it did,
> but it doesn't.  Sorry.

Where did I say that they should record in vorbis? I think that would
have been a mistake as well (although, a preferable mistake had it
been an option, just as recording to higher bitrate MP3 would have
been a preferable mistake).  The audio should have been recorded as
raw PCM.   This is a fairly standard pratice.  Total audio for all the
sessions would have been under 24 GB.

> > I have made several request to obtain copies of the DV tapes for the
> > sessions that were video taped so that I could make Oggs of the high
> > resolution video and the uncompressed audio. I have offered to pay
> > duplication costs.  My requests have been ignored.
> I do not remember hearing such a request from you; I certainly
> wouldn't have ignored it.
> The 17 tapes in question are currently en route to George Chriss, whom
> you might remember from the conference.  He's tasked with processing
> the tapes and encoding video of each session in Ogg Theora, which will
> be uploaded to Commons as soon as they're finished.  I have every
> confidence in his abilities.

Indeed, he emailed me after my post. I'm glad to hear that it's being
taken care of.

> > and as far as the files go, they don't effectively exist if even *you*
> > can't find them without asking.
> I've seen the files with my own eyes, but I don't know where they're
> posted.  Obtaining them hasn't been a priority for me, because I have
> an MP3 player.
> > How much money would you have required?
> > $10,000 to get all the audio and video from our sessions into
> > completely free formats for both archival and available live use?  I
> > could have gotten you that. No one asked.  Kyle was standing the the
> > conference *offering* to record unrecorded sessions, I brought
> > microphones and recording gear (with the hopes of doing a wikimedia
> > choral session, but that didn't end up happening).. and no one could
> > confirm that we had *permission* to record the sessions.
> You're right, we never asked you.  We're good, but we're not clairvoyant.
> Everyone was welcome to make their own recordings, as I told everyone
> who asked me.  Many people did.

I stood with Kyle and asked if we had permission to record, you told
us you'd get back to us. I guess it was a misunderstanding.

> > I curious though, what incentive do you have to promote propritary
> > software when there are reasonable free alternative available and
> > people willing to invest their time and money into making them work
> > for us?
> Real gave us $100,000, to be split amongst the conference organizers
> as we pleased.  And we would've gotten away with it, too...

hah. Come on, I wasn't intending to imply anything like that. :)

> I never suggested that you use RealPlayer, and I'm not even advocating
> the use of the Real format.  Although I don't object to non-free
> software on principle, I absolutely believe that the formats used for
> information exchange should be free, and I was very disappointed to
> learn that Real was the only option for the live streams.  Being
> practical, however, I was consoled by the knowledge that they would be
> archived in Ogg Theora for posterity, whatever it took to make that
> happen.
> It's fine to talk about could haves and should haves now, but the fact
> is, we never heard from you before the conference.  In the end, I
> think we still made out okay.

Well you certantly would have heard from me had I not given the
impression that everything was taken care of...

I'll agree that we made out okay once the files are actually up on the
site. Had the files actually made it up by now (rather than the
mismarsh of formats we have now), you never would have heard a peep
fom me.

Incidentally, have you noticed the jOrbis (Java Ogg/Vorbis player)
links on the wikimania media archive page? I think thats a pretty good
move, and a reasonable stopgap until we get the proper player support
in mediawiki.

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