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

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Fri Jan 17 14:05:43 UTC 2014

I am happy for people to upload files when we can convert it to another
format. Given that the issue is around the ability to re-use media files in
the H.264 format, providing these files to our users is exactly the issue
that is being discussed. Consequently it is controversial.

On 17 January 2014 14:18, Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi at gmx.net> wrote:

> * Tim Starling wrote:
> >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.
> It seems to me that we all agree it would be nice if people could upload
> H.264 video to Wikimedia Foundation servers and if people could download
> H.264 video from Wikimedia servers and possibly even reuse such video.
> There are efforts underway to try and make some H.264 profile available
> on a royality-free basis that the Foundation probably should study and
> possibly support. This RFC however is not going to give people a license
> to upload or reuse H.264 video by the looks of it. The "download Theora"
> approach is already supported, so there is no difference there either.
> If there is some legal theory by which "most people" either already have
> or do not need to be given a license to upload or reuse H.264 video (in-
> cluding considerations with respect to how such video came to be) then
> by all means make that part of the RfC and then we could say whether the
> proposal would actually improve anything.
> --
> Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern at hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
> Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
> 25899 Dagebüll · PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 · http://www.websitedev.de/
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