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Google v. Apple v. Adobe, Standards Discussion

  • Google
    Google YouTube support for HTML 5 and .webm
    WebM format (VP8 video and Vorbis audio)
    Google purchased On2 Technologies (developers of VP8) and irrevocably released all of its patents on VP8 as a royalty-free format
    Concerns about submarine patents related to video technologies
  • Apple
    Support for HTML 5 and H.264
    MPEG LA licenses patent pool for H.264/AVC (Apple and Microsoft among others hold patents)
    MPEG LA claims that Theora and VP8 infringe on their patents
  • Adobe
    Previously, Flash was widely adopted due to large installed user base.
    Increasingly, alternatives to Flash are being implemented (HTML 5 versions) because of the lack of support for Flash on Apple devices
  • HTML5
    HTML5 still under development, will be the next major revision of HTML standard
    It incorporates features like video playback and drag-and-drop that previously required third-party browser plug-ins. The multimedia elements <audio> and <video> provide new functionality through a standardized interface.
  • Metadata
    **PBcore vs Dublin Core
    The PBCore metadata standard (Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary) was created by the public broadcasting community. The PBCore standard is built on the foundation of the Dublin Core (ISO 15836). PBCore extends Dublin Core by adding a number of elements specific to audiovisual assets. These AV assets can be physical analog media items, or digital media objects. There are challenges with how PBCore handles XML
  • Accessibility
    Section 508 compliant players
    • Keyboard Controls: The user can control the video player transport buttons such as play, pause and volume with a keyboard.
    • Text Controls (when styles are disabled): The user can control the video player transport buttons using a screen reader.
    • Alternate Description: If Javascript or Flash are disabled or not installed, the video player displays a description of the video and links to instructions for installing Javascript or Flash.
  • Variety of different formats for captions
    .scc (broadcast), .dfxp (supported by Flash), .srt (supported by YouTube)
    .srt becoming most used
    SMIL supported by QuickTime and WMP with some limited browser support.
    Descriptive audio tracks are much less common than captions
  • Preservation Formats
    Uncompressed YUV 10 bit 4:2:2 (WGBH uses 8 bit)
    Library of Congress uses Motion JPEG 2000
    How to ensure sustainability?
    Media migration policy is important
    Support for 4K, 3D in the future?

Organizational Collaboration Discussion

The discussion focused on the successful experiences with open source projects that the various attendees had.  The Hydra project and several aspects of it were described: it was very successful in a short (two-year) time span with no grant.  The primary stakeholders had decided that to succeed they would need to focus on compromise, yet each party would still need to see proper value for their time and effort. After the initial successful push more formal governance structures were implemented to set further priorities.

Other factors discussed were: 

  • Creating strong personal bonds between the participants
  • Resources needed to be free from other responsibilities (at least truly reflect the commitment, i.e. 50% commitment means 20 real hours/week)
  • Sponsorship of any level is a tough sell ($2000/per year contribution is still tough to sell)

Copyright and Licensing Discussion

We talked about risk management; difficulty of licensing of media acquisition in the future; constraints that rights holders are dealing with; perpetual licensing; sharing practices, developing community practices has potential for us.

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