[Wikimedia-l] RfC: Should we support MP4 Video on our sites?

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Thu Jan 16 18:21:26 UTC 2014

This is a truly divisive issue. For many people the notion that you do not
need anything proprietary is a powerful motivator to participate. Promoting
a stack of software that cannot be taken away because of the whims of a
company or country is an integral part to it.

>From my perspective the lack of clarity in the license of the MP* codes
makes them really suspicious. Once we start using content in MP* we cannot
turn back. So if things go south we will be royally screwed.

The other argument I see is that there is a lot out there in these codecs.

When we do not accept the use of proprietary codecs, it does not mean that
we have no options. The only thing is we will have to do more stuff that is
considered to be basic. That may not seem sexy to some and that is not
really relevant.

I prefer for us to remain on the path where our whole stack of both content
and software is unencumbered.

On 16 January 2014 19:05, Andrew Gray <andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk> wrote:

> On 16 January 2014 16:05, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 16 January 2014 16:02, Andrew Lih <andrew.lih at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Instead, I'd neutralize backdoored to something like, "unwittingly
> shifting
> >> our cherished values for the worse."
> >
> > This is about the fourth time this has come around; I hope you can
> > understand that it's harder to credit "unwittingly" than if it were
> > the first.
> It's certainly come around a lot, but it's never really been put to
> the question.
> I've seen "we should support mp3/mp4/mpeg/flash" a lot - skimming my
> mailing list archives, it was brought up in 2005 (already as a
> perennial suggestion), 2007, 2008, 2009, and early 2013. None of these
> actually resulted in a formal proposal or anything other than a flurry
> of discussion (though in 2008 there was a draft board resolution which
> would have explicitly ruled out patent-encumbered formats...)
> To me, this seems to be one of those decisions that we made years and
> years ago and have never really thrashed out properly and widely,
> rather than just saying "well, we said no". As such, I think a clearly
> structured community-wide discussion is a definite advance - and if
> it's a firm no, and we remain in the status quo, we'll have a firm
> basis for that in future rather than a sort of decision-by-inertia.
> --
> - Andrew Gray
>   andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk
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