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

Brion Vibber bvibber at wikimedia.org
Thu Jan 16 18:41:18 UTC 2014

On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 10:21 AM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
> wrote:

> Hoi,
> 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.

In theory we'll be free to turn back at any time by deleting all those
nasty *.mp4 files and just using the .ogv and .webm files -- but we'd be
giving up functionality unless the landscape changes in the mean time.

For this reason I would continue to advocate supporting work on low-level
WebM support alternatives (software codecs for iOS and other mobile OSs,
JavaScript decoding for desktop web browsers) even if we do go MP4 to
better support today's devices today, as this would give us a stronger
fallback position if we need to drop it in future. See
some notes on things that are possible, but currently outside our
budgeted work.

-- brion

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