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

Tim Starling tstarling at wikimedia.org
Fri Jan 17 06:04:45 UTC 2014

On 17/01/14 01:14, Todd Allen wrote:
> This proposal asks to move to a "free as in beer" model, where content will
> be free to view, but not necessarily to reuse (and with the opaque license,
> it may not even be possible to tell). 

I don't really understand this argument. It's not like there are video
cameras that record directly to Theora. So presumably, most videos
uploaded to Commons start life as H.264 or some other proprietary
format, and are transcoded to Theora before they are uploaded to Commons.

The proposal is to make it possible to upload the source file and have
the server do the transcode, whereas currently, the source file is
private and thus not distributed under a free license. Currently, if
you want to reuse an H.264 source file, you have to somehow contact
the author, beg for a copy of the file, and hope that they haven't
deleted it. With this proposal, if you want to reuse an H.264 file
without a patent license, you can just download the Theora transcode
from the server.

I am having trouble thinking of a scenario where the current situation
would be better for reuse than the proposed situation. If you can
think of one, please tell me.

-- Tim Starling

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