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

Bjoern Hoehrmann derhoermi at gmx.net
Fri Jan 17 17:05:10 UTC 2014

* Andrew Lih wrote:
>BTW, Luis from WMF has put a very lengthy and detailed analysis of the
>legal issues that does help quite a bit, at the end of the RFC:

I note that the Wikimedia Foundation does not really have to obtain a
license to use H.264 encoders and decoders, users could do the format
conversions elsewhere and the Wikimedia Foundation could then "merely
distribute" the files. As the RfC notes, "Merely distributing MP4 files
never requires a patent license." That would spare us problems like the
"secret contract" issue.

Why does the proposal, instead, suggest the Foundation should engage in
the practise of, not just mere distribution, but Internet Broadcasting?
That apparently requires a patent license. For that matter, would users
who download video automatically obtain Internet Re-Broadcasting rights?

I do note that according to MPEG LA there are only about 1300 entities
with relevant license agreements, if putting a H.264 video on my web
site whether people can download it is Internet Broadcasting and I do
not obtain an Internet Broadcasting license by pressing the "record"
button on my camera, or some other automatic process, then that figure
is several orders of magnitude too small, or patent holders tolerate a
lot of infringement (for the moment).

Would it really make sense to label video files as freely shareable if
forms of sharing like "Internet Broadcasting" need additional licenses?
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern at hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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