Commons:Requests for comment/MP4 Video

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This discussion is now closed and archived. Please do not modify it.

Closing with consensus prefer no MP4 support. Although this was a complicated RFC, with multiple options for !voting and discussion, the closure itself does not need deep analysis, and can be done very simply without getting into complicated discussions about how to weight the !votes, which !votes ought be set aside as based on a misunderstanding, and so on. For information only, the raw, unadjusted, uncorrected figures were:

  • Prefer full MP4 support: 145
  • Prefer partial MP4 support - viewing only: 4
  • Prefer partial MP4 support - contributions only: 56
  • Neutral: 7
  • Prefer no MP4 support: 309
  • (various other community solutions were also proposed)

It would be possible to subject these raw figures to a close analysis and come up with a more 'accurate' count, but I doubt that that is worth doing as the resultant consensus is unlikely to change.

Now, although the consensus of prefer no MP4 support has to be respected, there is a considerable amount of detailed information here which clearly deserves close study. I have created a new sub-page Commons:Requests for comment/MP4 Video/Analysis of responses to allow editors to work collaboratively on understanding the nuances of what the community has said, and learning for the future. Everybody should be free to help out with that analysis, including editors who have who have expressed strong opinions in the discussion. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:58, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

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The Wikimedia Foundation's multimedia team seeks community guidance on whether or not to support the MP4 video file format on Wikimedia projects. This request for comments (RfC) will start on January 15, 2014 and will remain open until February 14, 2014. RfC results will be used to determine whether or not to enable MP4 on our sites -- and how widely.

All users are welcome to participate in this RfC, whether you are a reader, contributor or editor to Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia, or any other site that uses content from our free media repository. Even if you do not speak English, you are welcome to participate here. If this page has already been translated into your language, click in the translation bar above to read it. If not, we invite you to translate it yourself.

One of the 'crats will close this RFC during the day of 14th February (UTC).


Video is used widely for educational purposes on the Internet. Online videos can be an effective learning tool, particularly for people who cannot read well. However, video is not widely used on Wikimedia projects. To date, only 40,500 video files have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons -- about 0.2% of the 19.9 million other media files in our repository (by contrast, YouTube now hosts over 6.5 million educational videos).

At this time, we only support two open video formats on our sites: Ogg Theora and WebM. Some people think that wide adoption of these open formats has been hampered by three main problems:

  1. Creating videos in open formats is difficult. No widely-available video cameras will record video in these formats. This includes modern mobile phones, the biggest source of new videos globally. Once video is recorded in other formats, special tools like Firefogg are required to re-encode them in open formats, special plugins are required to edit them, and these tools and plugins are not widely used in the video creation and editing community (transcoding can happen server-side, but requires a license.)
  2. Once created, these files cannot be viewed on many mobile devices without extra software -- and most videos recorded on mobile devices cannot be directly uploaded to our sites. This is particularly concerning because mobile use of Wikimedia sites is already large (33% of total pageviews last month) and growing rapidly.
  3. While the Chrome and Firefox browsers used by a majority of our visitors support WebM by default, a large number of users (several hundred million) visit our site every month in browsers that do not. For them, watching our videos is very difficult, requiring special software installations that are cumbersome for casual users.

Today, the most common digital video format on desktop computers and mobile devices is known as MP4 (also referred to as H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC - (see note 1). Online, MP4 is widely used by popular web services such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Apple’s iTunes video distribution system, as well as by web playback systems such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight. Hardware devices using this standard include Blu-ray Disc players, iPhones/iPads and Android mobile devices, as well as consumer camcorders using the AVCHD system.

Supporting this widespread MP4 video standard would make it much easier for users to view and contribute video on Wikimedia projects. MP4 is a patent-encumbered format, but the Wikimedia Foundation's legal department has evaluated the situation and determined that the licenses that would be required for our use (AVC video encoding and decoding from MPEG-LA, as well as AAC audio codec from Via) have acceptable terms. Moreover, no royalties are charged currently for AVC video codecs (and only a small upfront fee is due for the AAC audio codec), with no restrictions on our current use of free software (see note 2). Commercial use of MP4 videos contributed to Wikimedia sites with a CC-BY-SA Creative Commons license appears to be authorized under the terms of MPEG-LA’s royalty-free Internet Broadcast sublicense, as outlined below. Since using a proprietary format would be a departure from our current practice of only using open formats on our sites, WMF has opened this Request for Comments to seek community guidance.

To support the MP4 standard as a complement to the open formats now used on our sites, it has been proposed that videos be automatically transcoded and stored in both open and MP4 formats on our sites, as soon as they are uploaded or viewed by users (see note 3). The unencumbered WebM and Ogg versions would remain our primary reference for platforms that support them. But the MP4 versions would enable many mobile and desktop users who cannot view these unencumbered video files to watch them in MP4 format.

Dual formats would also support users who prefer to view video in open formats -- even if the original file was uploaded in MP4 format. And keeping all videos in both formats will serve as an insurance policy, giving us the ability to discontinue support for MP4 in the future, if legal or technological circumstances change. To be clear, the intent of this project is not to diminish our commitment to open formats, but to provide an interim solution that can enable more people to view and contribute video content on our sites, as open formats become more prevalent.

Views in favor of MP4 support

Those who favor adoption of the MP4 video file format point to the educational value of video for helping users learn in the medium that best fits their needs. As online video usage keeps growing rapidly worldwide, videos are key to serving our educational mission and Wikimedia is now lagging far behind other sites in this field.

A video of a cheetah, captured in slow-motion at 1200 fps. The video was released on Vimeo and converted to OGV format before uploading to Commons.
Many topics covered on our sites could be better explained with video (e.g. soccer, dance, human movement, cooking, travel). For example, videos like the one at right can provide important new information and complement text articles effectively. And yet only 0.1% of our articles now have video on the largest of our projects, the English Wikipedia. The lack of quality video for most topics on our sites will become more of a problem as video production and sharing become more accessible via mobile devices and more users start to rely on this medium for their information needs on other sites.

The MP4 proponents say that one of the major reasons why there are so few videos on Wikimedia sites is that we do not support the widespread MP4 standard. Instead, we rely on the lesser-known Ogg Theora and WebM standards, whose user base is vastly outnumbered by the many users of MP4 around the world. As of this writing, about 150 million of our users are still unable to view open video files on their browsers. For mobile phones and tablets, there is no practical way to play Ogg or WebM videos on the very popular iPhone and iPad devices, and only some phones can play WebM videos.

By contrast, MP4 is installed by default on most mobile devices and desktop computers, typically including hardware support that is much more efficient than software solutions for video encoding and decoding. This hardware support is much needed for mobile devices, to insure longer battery life required for extended video playback or recording. For mobile users, this is a major benefit of MP4 versus free software solutions.

Moreover, the creation tools for transcoding video into those codecs are not available on mobile devices, which are a natural platform for creating videos. And the multitude of robust video capture, editing, and sharing tools to popular services such as YouTube and Vimeo raises user expectations considerably. Sadly, free/open standards have not kept up with the state of the art -- not even WebM, which has Google's full support.

Lastly, it is worth noting that the non-profit Mozilla Foundation began planning to incorporate MP4 into Firefox and most of their products in 2012, and is planning to complete it in 2014. However, most linux distributions will continue to distribute Firefox without MP4 support. The Mozilla community also cares deeply about open formats, but Mozilla decided to compromise based on practical concerns. Members of our own community have recommended MP4 support for years, in email discussions dating back to 2012.

Since we would continue to support open video formats as well, MP4 supporters view their recommendation as consistent with the Wikimedia Foundation's Guiding Principles, which state that "all material in our projects is available in free formats that do not require the user to install proprietary software": users would always retain the option to view or contribute files in open formats if they prefer, because all videos would be stored in dual formats (see note 4).

To sum up, MP4 proponents view video as important for serving our educational mission in a rapidly changing information landscape. They consider that MP4 support is essential for empowering our users to view, contribute and edit video to share free knowledge, even if this requires us to adapt our policies regarding the use of proprietary file formats. They recommend that we license this video standard at no cost (no royalties are due for free sites like ours), so we can support MP4 in addition to open formats.

Views against MP4 support

Those who oppose adoption of the MP4 video file format point to the free software objectives of the Wikimedia movement, which are a vital aspect of our mission (as recently affirmed by the Wikimedia Foundation board in Wikimedia Foundation's Guiding Principles). Those opposing MP4 adoption believe that in order for what we create to be truly free, the format that it is in also needs to be free, (else everyone viewing it would need to obtain a patent license in some form to be able to view it). Whatever effort we place in supporting video should be focused on free formats, so that our contributions back to the wider ecosystem encourage deeper adoption of free formats.

From that viewpoint, any software infrastructure in Wikimedia projects must adhere to community norms regarding intellectual property, patent status, licensing or encoding methods. Current community requirements are that free/open standards should be used at all times to encode and store video files on the servers that house our data, so that both our content and software can be redistributed without any restrictions. Proprietary video containers or codecs such as MP4 are not allowed on Wikimedia projects because they are patent-encumbered and their software cannot be re-licensed freely (though MP4 content can be freely re-licensed). We publish nearly all of the source code and configuration necessary to host our content under free licenses; supporting MP4 may mean making licensing-related compromises in the transparency of our video-related infrastructure. Furthermore, the licence arrangement will be secret (even though the FSF has made an older - but quite similar - version of the license available here). For that reason, opponents of MP4 support recommend that we continue to only support open and free license video formats on our sites -- which for now means limiting our use to Ogg Theora and WebM standards (some of the MP4 patents will not expire until 2028).

Some people have argued that recent events make the future for free formats look positive, and hence now is not the time to give up on them:

  1. Nokia lost its patent claim in Germany, and Nokia was the only one not signing the agreement with Google.[1][clarification needed]. This helps ensure VP8 really is patent-unencumbered.
  2. Google worked on VP9, which is the high quality successor to VP8 (the codec currently used in WebM). It is a matter of months, not years, when this will be widely available. And this time most of the important hardware makers are on board. This means VP9 could be potentially decoded efficiently on cell phones, like how MP4 is currently.

Some community members have suggested that the Wikimedia Foundation is in a unique position to encourage a wider adoption of open video formats by requiring users to use these formats to access our content -- and helping make the formats better as a result. Because of the significant traffic to Wikimedia projects, the argument is that we can afford to make a stand on principle and encourage long-term adoption of free formats, even if it impacts the short-term quality of our user experience.

Some have also suggested that it may be possible to develop free/open video player software for platforms that don't support Theora/WebM. While alternative solutions would require a significant investment, additional software development could help improve the basic media experience if we do not go through with MP4 support, as outlined here by WMF software architect Brion Vibber.

Other issues raised include concerns that MP4 support may increase video contributions, which would require more community curation work (just looking at the thumbnail is not enough like it is with images); or concerns that hosting or bandwidth costs for this video content may require more foundation resources. More points such as these may come up during this RfC, and can be reviewed in the Comments section below.

To sum up, MP4 opponents consider our free software goals and ideals to be as important as our educational mission, at least as far as content is concerned. They view MP4 support as a fundamental shift in our values -- and a major setback for the open and free software movements. They are prepared to stick with the current status quo, even if this means that millions of users cannot easily view video content on our sites, or contribute it directly if their devices produce MP4. They also hope to encourage users to buy different hardware and/or install free software on their devices, to promote the open and free software movements.


This Request for Comments is presented by the Wikimedia Foundation to seek community guidance on whether or not to support the MP4 video format on our sites. We invite comments from all users: readers, contributors, curators or editors on Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia, or any other site that uses content from our free media repository.

The RfC was prepared by WMF product manager Fabrice Florin, in consultation with many community and team members. This discussion will be facilitated by WMF community liaison Keegan Peterzell. We expect that this RfC will be closed by an uninvolved Commons editor or administrator in February 2014. If you have any questions or suggestions about this RfC, please add a comment below or contact us directly.

There was an office hours chat on IRC on Thursday, January 16, at 19:00 UTC about this RFC. The logs of that chat are available at meta:IRC office hours/Office hours 2014-01-16.

Question for the community

Should we support the MP4 video file format, in addition to open video formats?

Please state your support for one of the options below -- and sign your name in the appropriate section.

For more information, review this Background page, the Comments below, or this RfC's Discussion page.

Note partial support is harder to implement than full or no support, because it requires a special infrastructure to hide files or disable source downloads.

Full MP4 support

I recommend that we support the MP4 file format to both view and contribute videos, in addition to open formats. All videos would be automatically stored in both formats, to provide the best user experience on any platform.

  1. We are losing no options here and potentially gain a lot of new contributors in an area that looks glum on commons, videos. Since we retain assets in unencumbered formats it won't be a problem to reverse this move in the future, should it become necessary. --Dschwen (talk) 00:59, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  2. I believe that full mp4 support is the only way to go at this juncture. I'd love a patent unencumbered alternative, but there isn't a satisfactory alternative to mp4 at this point in time, and if we don't support mp4, our video adoption will be greatly hampered. I certainly think we should support free (as in freedom) alternatives as they arise, but until then, if we want a good amount of video on our projects, we're going to need to support mp4. Kevin Gorman (talk) 01:08, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    • There's a contradiction between your proposal and your goal. Wikipedia currently actively helps unencumbered formats by pushing users and application developers to use those formats. Your suggestion is to reduce this to passive support, whereby current users of unencumbered formats won't encounter any problems but no user or application developer is given any reason to start using or supporting those unencumbered formats. Formats take off if they have users and developers, so your proposal would cut off the oxygen supply of the formats you say you love. Gronky (talk) 10:23, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
      • Ultimately, our goal isn't to encourage the development of free video formats, it's to spread knowledge. We've gone more than a decade without Wikimedia having a way to spread educational videos in an accessible way. I agree with you that if Wikimedia adopts some level of support for mp4, it will at least slightly lower the amount of 'oxygen' driving video development (though I don't think WMF projects present a sizable source of it for video in the first place,) but ultimately, I view our ability to make knowledge accessible as important enough to warrant this tradeoff. (If it's a significant concern, we could also set a forced sunset date for our mp4 support, which would presumably restore a good portion of any development incentive we had cut off in supporting mp4.) Kevin Gorman (talk) 22:14, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
        • Aha. So you think Wikipedia's help for free formats should be traded away. That's clearer than your first comment. I disagree. I think taking a stand for free knowledge is what makes Wikipedia unique and what brings in contributors and makes the WWW a better place. Gronky (talk) 22:47, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
          • Every decision we make has tradeoffs, as much as I wish that wasn't the case. If we don't support mp4, many millions of users will not have access to any form of video on Wikimedia sites, and the users who can play the formats we currently support will only have access to about 40k videos. When it comes down to it: yes, I absolutely believe that enabling many millions of people access to educational videos in a technically proprietary format who currently can't watch any video on Wikimedia sites and allowing those people who can use open formats to access a greatly increased number of videos in completely free formats is worth the tradeoff. Our mission is to attempt to make the sum of all human knowledge as accessible as we can and as free as we can, and mp4 support coupled with transcoding wins on both those counts at the present time. (To avoid cluttering up the top of the support vote chain with a dialogue, let's move any further conversation out of the vote chain itself.) Kevin Gorman (talk) 23:12, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
            • You're right, every decision we make has tradeoffs, and this would be trading off free formats. I thought the mission was to make the sum of all human knowledge as accessible as we can for all users, not just rich users. If MPEG-LA gets its way, free software gets killed off and many millions of users will not have access to any form of video on the Internet. — Laurelrusswurm (talk) 10:11, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  3. Full MP4 support, while not perfectly aligning with all of Wikimedia's guidelines, is a good compromise at this point given MPEG-LA's promise to not charge royalties in the Wikipedia use case for now and forever. That said, transcoding and primarily using open formats is good, while also allowing the vast majority of devices and platforms that use MPEG-4/AVC to be part of the multimedia workflow. Hopefully this will help spur activity in en:Wikipedia:WikiProject_Wiki_Makes_Video and other video projects. -- Fuzheado (talk) 01:11, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    There is quite a big difference between a guideline and a mission. Jimmy Wales wrote, "A free encylopedia, or any other free knowledge, can be freely read, without getting permission from anyone. Free knowledge can be freely shared with others. Free knowledge can be adapted to your own needs. And your adapted versions can be freely shared with others."
    The problem is, this entire deal is predicated upon "MPEG-LA's promise to not charge royalties in the Wikipedia use case for now and forever."
    But What is MPEG-LA actually promising?
    • Is MPEG-LA promising not to levy royalties on all its formats forever? Because that would be the only way WMF would be sure of never having to pay royalties on MPEG-LA formats.
  4. Is MPEG-LA promising that all WMF users will be able to watch, use and reuse work in all MPEG-LA formats found on WMF websites in perpetuity?
  5. If MPEG-LA becomes obsolete when another proprietary software dealer puts it out of business, then what? Any promises will be null and void.
  6. One of the essential problems of a permission culture is licensing. Licenses can be changed when they come up for renewal. Today WMF is in a negotiating position of power, because it does not need this deal at all. It's the opposite for MPEG-LA, because every minute that passes makes WebM more likely to supplant it. If MPEG-LA can erode WMF's commitment to free software, it's likely to eventually achieve its goal of monopoly. On the day When free formats no longer exist, the tables will turn. MPEG-LA will renegotiate the deal, and WMF will no longer be in a position of power, but rather locked in a proprietary trap, where MPEG-LA can charge whatever it likes.
    A huge part of the problem is that the actual terms of the deal are secret. Would you buy a car or a house sight unseen, based purely on what the seller promises? — Laurelrusswurm (talk) 10:11, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  7. Best interim solution for now. Videos are a sorely underused aspect on the Wikimedia sites, and we should be encouraging them where possible. Ed [talk] [en:majestic titan] 01:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  8. Least bad option. This round of the format wars has been lost; sticking to WebM-only hurts our users and does nothing to advance our cause(s). If we want open formats to win in future rounds, our best chance is to arm ourselves with what we do best: the world's best content, and lots of it. That content is the only way we can get a seat at the table and make our opinions matter, and I'm afraid that means compromising and accepting a proprietary format for now. —LuisVilla (talk) 02:05, 16 January 2014 (UTC) (purely in my personal capacity)
    I don't think this affects your whole point. However, to be clear, we are not relying only on WebM. We already transcode automatically to Ogg Theora as well (see e.g. File:Artist’s_impression_of_the_black_hole_inside_NGC_300_X-1_(ESO_1004c).webm). There is no reason we can't add additional open formats in the future (see also the discussion about MPEG-1). Superm401 - Talk 00:42, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  9. I support usage of mp4 video format and broadening audience for integrated educational video content within wikimedia articles and projects. The initial implementation shows much improved device coverage -- Mdale (talk) 02:16, 16 January 2014 (UTC) Full disclosre: I actively worked on the mp4 support in consideration and been a long time multimedia code contributor for the wikiemdia projects. The opinions represented are my own, and not of the WMF foundation.
    (Moved initial vote to 'upload only' where it belonged) Weak second Not as proposed (best user experience). Yes, we should accept MP4 uploads and transcode them. Visitors should see free formats by default, with a link to install appropriate players if they don't have one.
    I respect @Mdale's views a great deal in this area, and would like to see more data on device coverage and access in practice -- do we measure how many visitors see pages with video that they are unable to play? How many visitors play videos on the pages they visit? Implementing a test framework on 0.01% of visitors to gather data would certainly be alright.
    If a reader is unable to view video in Ogg/WebM we should detect that and show them other options. We do this today, but the options could be improved. Before adding an encumbered format as an option (even if via a link to a third party converter), we should add an image or animated gif - both of which work nicely for reusers. Further comments in "Contributions only" below. --SJ+ 04:39, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  10. I see no reason why we shouldn't support this idea, as we really have nothing to lose in supporting this file format. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 02:39, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  11. I have recommended this approach for years. Wikipedia originally perceived itself as being influential enough to drive adoption of open video formats, but clearly this has not happened. We will likely drive more adoption of open formats by actually having more video on the site and providing copies of those videos in open formats, while simultaneously not disenfranchising users who don't happen to use the few browsers that happen to support Ogg/WebM. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 03:33, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  12. Yes. I understand the reasons why we might not be adopting MP4 (not a free format, etc) but I consider that such a thing is not substantial enough for us to consider. After all, all the potential MP4 video uploads to Commons will be free, and the license of the video is far more important, broadly speaking, than the license of the software with which the video is being made, or the format under which is being released. — ΛΧΣ21 03:42, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  13. WMF's mission is education, not the promotion of patent-free file formats. WMF's support for Theora for many years did very little to encourage the adoption of that format in browsers and devices. However, I don't think video should be a priority for WMF, since I think its educational value is low, compared to other missing content such as maps, slideshows and interactive diagrams. -- Tim Starling (talk) 04:18, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    I'd argue we have not seen video with good "educational value" yet partly because of these technical issues, but also because we don't have good visual literacy or a collaborative system around video that would let awesome content bloom. So my challenge is to convince you otherwise through projects like en:Wikipedia:WikiProject_Wiki_Makes_Video when we can start getting critical mass and the piranha effect working in areas people have no idea can be great. :) -- Fuzheado (talk) 11:29, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    WMF's mission is specifically free educational material, and that reasonably includes patent-free formats. darkweasel94 13:50, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  14. Per Dswchen and in detail per SJ+ In effect the choice is having almost no video, or getting on with it and having an up-to-date educational site which includes lots of video. Smallbones (talk) 04:33, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  15. Our commitment to Open Source is second to our educational mission. If, realistically, making the information available to a significant portion of the world (if not the vast majority) – especially mobile users – requires us to use a patent-encumbered format, then we should use that format.

    Making sure that we provide the open alternative remains important so that we do not force users to switch to proprietary solution, but it should not be done at the cost of preventing those readers who do not have the option from accessing contents. MPelletier (WMF) (talk) 04:41, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

    Our mission starting from Nupedia is educational open content. Our differentiator/Unique Selling Proposition is open content. Britannica are the folks who do proprietary education. If we give up the open content part, we're just the same as Britannica. --Kim Bruning (talk) 22:06, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    I don't know, Kim Bruning... I thought our defining difference was the "wiki" nature of the projects and the fact that the organization had no commercial aims and offers all of the content for free (as in beer). The enormous popularity of Wikipedia seems entirely unrelated to the rate at which the content is reused - it is clear that the vast, overwhelming majority of users of Wikipedia content get it straight from the source. That doesn't mean that openness (free as in freedom) isn't important, it certainly is. But I think MPelletier is quite correct in describing the hierarchy of needs in the Wikimedia mission. NathanT 17:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    I think that the classification made by MPelletier is not relevant: open source is a tool for the educational mission of Wikipedia. Where can you learn from when formats are proprietary? Supporting open source is not a by-product of Wikipedia, it is one of its cornerstone. And support to open source also means rejecting proprietary software if other possibilities are available, which is the case here.
    @MPelletier (WMF), your username indicates that you work for WMF, but your user account is a redlink. Would you mind creating a basic user page (perhaps a redirect if you have one elsewhere) so it is easier for others to understand your role? -Pete F (talk) 17:55, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
    Yes, my apologies; I had not realized that my staff account did not have a userpage on Commons - I've added a soft redirect to point at my primary one on MPelletier (WMF) (talk) 10:04, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
  16. Many people have terrible issues accessing video on Wikimedia sites, and for most of these people, this is because we don't provide transcodes to MP4 format. The restriction to free formats also makes it more difficult for uploaders to upload their video files, especially on Windows platforms (I would have to do quite a bit of researching and downloading to be able to convert to Ogg or WebM using my Windows machine). Video content is a key aspect of our educational mission, and we are currently failing to provide the best access to it. This, that and the other (talk) 06:09, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  17. Per Tim Starling exactly. Additionally, let us remember that also supporting non-free technologies is something we already do, in that we support (and spend effort to ensure we continue to support) proprietary browsers like Internet Explorer and Opera. Ijon (talk) 06:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  18. +1 for MP4 on the condition of prioritising source files using open codecs wherever possible and switching to Daala over H.264 in 2016 should MPEG-LA's terms deteriorate. Besides the standard arguments, my reasoning is that if we adopted MP4, then people would actually start uploading and viewing video content on Wikipedia. Then, in 2016, if a decision was made to drop MP4 and prefer Daala, some people would actually have a reason to switch. In contrast, right now, people don't care much about which codec we support since most people don't associate the likes of Wikipedia with video at all. Also, given how many source videos are in MP4, this could also boost traffic for sites like Wikinews and provide useful archive footage for the Wikimedia Commons. TavEspian (talk) 06:38, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Open source has always been important to Wikipedia, as it is imperative that everything we do can be spread as freely as possible. That being said, our main goal is not to support open source formats. Our main goal is to educate and spread information. Open source is a mean to an end, not a goal in itself. If keeping only to certain formats is hurting us, we should look for other solutions. /Julle (talk) 06:42, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Having followed the discussion, I've found some of the arguments against the suggestion to use MP4 convincing enough to retract my earlier support. /Julle (talk) 16:52, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  19. I think an all or nothing approach, as some who has uploaded videos the biggest problem I find is that to convert to ogv or webm is that those sites that do it for free have size limits, and I have yet to find an open source program that I can run on my pc to do the conversion myself. I have videos that should we go mp4 would be immediately uploaded, in doing so I'd only support mp4 if WMF includes a conversion to ogv within the process to ensure all videos are duplicated in a free file format, that downloading for reuse should be automatically in ogv to encourage its uptake Gnangarra 06:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  20. Strong support. Per Tim and MPelletier ^demon (talk) 06:54, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  21. MP4 is widely used, and easy to edit with many video software. --Anton·٠•●♥Talk♥●•٠· 07:27, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  22. Strongly agree. --Itzike (talk) 07:45, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  23. Strong support per Tim Starling, especially if non-patent formatted files are also automatically made available. Our primary mission is to support the spread of knowledge, supporting free software is a secondary goal. It would be nice if there were a suitable (read: widely adopted by our readers) open video format, but there is not, so to fulfil our primary mission we should open the door to MP4. Lankiveil (talk) 08:12, 16 January 2014 (UTC).
  24. This is certainly a good alternative to make the videos accessible to many as we store them in dual formats, my support. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 08:24, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  25. Strong support—important move forward, with advantages far outweighing doubts expressed below. Tony (talk) 08:35, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  26. Strong support - our prime aim is to share the world's knowledge and this will make it easier. Personal opinion not on behalf of WMUK Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:02, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  27. This will considerably facilitate the upload of videos. Pyb (talk) 10:00, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  28. Our mission is about free knowledge distribution, we need to use the tools available--Chandres (talk) 10:06, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  29. Je propose que le format MP4 devienne le format par défaut, et que tout téléversement, qu'importe le format, soit automatiquement transformé en MP4. Ça me permettrait de téléverser directement en .MTS pour avoir du MP4. Par ailleurs, pour les vidéos en full HD, il serait intéressant que la limite passe de 100 à 200 MO. Enfin, il faut comprendre que le libre n'est pas la solution à tout. On devrait toujours choisir l'option la plus intéressante. JÄNNICK Jérémy (talk) 10:31, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    (Rough translation by Pleclown, not a support of the expressed position)
    I propose that the MP4 format becomes the by-default format, and that all uploads, regardless of the format, be automatically transcoded to MP4. This would allow users to upload directly .MTS files to get MP4. Besides, it would be interesting that the limit be changed from 100 to 200 MB. Finally, one must understand that free (software) is not the solution to all problems. We should always use the most interesting solution.
    Il est déjà possible de téléverser des fichiers de 1024 MB si l'on utilise UploadWizard. Voir COM:Chunked uploads. darkweasel94 13:50, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  30. Reluctant support. We're too late in the evolution of the web video market that "hey, unless you support freely licensed formats, you won't be able to see educational videos on Wikipedia" to be much of a threat. Sometimes you have to do short-term deals with the devil. —Tom Morris (talk) 10:36, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  31. Support - I acknowledge the moral and legal problems with the codec, but i think for pragmatic reasons we should take the same actions as Mozilla has. It's a shame people with mobile devices can't view our videos. Huskyoog.jpg Husky (talk to me) 11:18, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Disagree! That would not be the same! "To avoid patent issues, support for MPEG 4, H.264, MP3 and AAC is not built directly into Firefox on desktop and mobile (Android and Firefox OS). Instead it relies on support from the OS or hardware" See MDN. -- Rillke(q?) 13:22, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Incorrect - After Cisco's announcement, this is no longer the case. Full h.264 support will be bundled* (see comment below) with Firefox in the very near future. "We are grateful for Cisco’s contribution, and we will add support for Cisco’s OpenH.264 binary modules to Firefox soon. These modules will be usable by downstream distributions of Firefox, as well as by any other project." [2]. -- Matt (talk) 14:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    That module gets a patent license only when it is downloaded by Firefox from Cisco at installation, so it is effectively non-free software in the countries where it matters. Also, it only includes the video codec and no audio. --AVRS (talk) 20:31, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    You just reiterated what I originally said in the quote... '"support for Cisco's OpenH.264 binary modules'". The point of my comment is that H.264 will indeed be bundled with Firefox, which is definitively the case. I said nothing about the process in which it is done. H.264 has nothing to do with audio in the first place, so it's logical that the license wouldn't have anything to do with audio. I would also like more information on the non-free software in the countries where it matters statement. -- Matt (talk) 21:04, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    @Enigmajr: (IANAL) I consider Firefox free software (except for the trademark, which is not functional; you can compile the source code to get the same functionality free according to the FSF [even though FSF would not endorse links to non-free add-ons]); non-free functional parts are not a part of Firefox. You get a patent license only if you copy what Cisco hosts; users or Mozilla cannot use the source code freely: the patent license does not apply to it. So if you change the module publicly, it will be non-free software (being able to propose a port to Cisco so it can choose to publish it does not make it free software). The binary is non-free and should not be considered a part of Firefox. Also, if Firefox actually has to download it separate, I don't think it can be called bundling (unless you are using a network installer which downloads Firefox, too…). --AVRS (talk) 12:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    @AVRS: You are indeed in correct, bundling is probably not the best term to use here. However, realistically speaking, a vast majority of users will receive the Cisco binaries, so the root claim that native H.264 support is coming to Firefox still stands. I think we're getting pretty close to splitting hairs here, though, especially considering we're not discussing whether or not Firefox should add H.264 support (but I genuinely appreciate the civil discussion). -- Matt (talk) 18:34, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    @Enigmajr: "H.264 has nothing to do with audio in the first place, so it's logical that the license wouldn't have anything to do with audio." — so you are voting in support of MP4 only for silent videos? ;) --AVRS (talk) 13:10, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    @AVRS: Think about all the Charlie Chaplin we could enjoy! :) But no, you're correct that both MP3 and AAC are license encumbered, but that is outside of the scope of h.264 licensing. FWIW, Firefox has supported MP3 for years. -- Matt (talk) 17:34, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    @Enigmajr: "Firefox has supported MP3 for years." — incorrect: checked into Nightly in December 2012, enabled in Nightly for Windows 7+ in February 2013 (released in Firefox 21.0), even later for Windows Vista (Fx 22.0), very recently for GNU/Linux with GStreamer (Fx 26.0), not at all on Mac OS X. --AVRS (talk) 18:27, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    @AVRS: My apologies. Firefox has supported MP3 for 13 months. Not sure why we're still going down this rabbit hole. -- Matt (talk) 18:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Are you suggesting another RFC for MP3 and AAC? --AVRS (talk) 18:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    @AVRS: ...No, I think we can reasonably assume this RFC covers both considering the MP4 container with H.264 only supports MP3 or AAC as the audio stream. -- Matt (talk) 18:55, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Note that MP3 is non-free, is not allowed at Commons, and is only supported by Firefox recently, using system libraries, because it is used with H.264. --AVRS (talk) 18:33, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Please prove with a diff-link in their code-repo. They can write/announce a lot but they may behave like Google did in regard to dropping mp4 support from Chrome. -- Rillke(q?) 09:39, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Oh come now, let's be reasonable. Google huffed and puffed but they didn't drop h.264 support for the same reason Firefox is adding it (and Wikimedia is considering it). There's zero incentive for Mozilla to go the other direction. -- Matt (talk) 17:34, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    @Enigmajr: Firefox is adding it because Google didn't drop it. Assuming Google lied, who lied to Google? --AVRS (talk) 18:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    @AVRS: Google's pretty good at lying on their own, so it only makes sense that we should continue to use their codec from an idealogical perspective. This is an entirely off topic conversation at this point. -- Matt (talk) 18:57, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  32. Support - if the legal team think that this is workable, then yes, this is the best solution. Our mission is to spread free knowledge, not to spread free file formats. I am perfectly happy to bring in MP4 if it means one more child gets an education. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 11:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  33. I Strongly agree as MP4 is widely used, and easy to edit with many video softwares. It will bring a revolution in Wikipedia and also in Wikivoyage. Tourist will really like too. --Shrikarsan (talk) 11:29, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  34. Support Per Chase me ladies: Our mission is to spread free knowledge, not to spread free file formats. Sylenius (talk) 12:31, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  35. Symbol support vote.svg Support per Dschwen it's a net gain for free knowledge. --PierreSelim (talk) 12:45, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  36. Per above. Fanatical upholding of "free content" principles harms the quality of Wikipedia, as well as on the fair use issue.Sorry for GT. MaxBioHazard (talk) 13:03, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  37. There are all kinds of non-free content on Wikimedia sites, including (but not limited to) non-free (fair use) media, quotes, links (to non-free content). Its presence means that quality of content is the priority: if the presence of non-free content is needed to improve quality, it is allowed. Therefore, non-free media formats also should be allowed, if it is legally possible. Free content zealots should seek a ban on fair use and quotations (including the whole Wikiquote thing) first. --Grebenkov (talk) 13:24, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  38. Support Very good idea, opening lots of new possibilities for either viewing or contributing content.Efkbl (talk) 14:25, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  39. Support The fact that there are only 38,000 video files on Wikimedia is a testament to the need for h.264 support. While I fully support WebM (and Ogg, although WebM has rendered it essentially obsolete at this point), it's just not a viable, standalone alternative at this point. This isn't even taking into account the growth of mobile viewers, who are entirely left out of the current picture. It's important to note (from what I understand) every video would be made available in free, open formats AS WELL AS h.264. For those interested as well, I mentioned in a comment above that Firefox will be adding h.264 support because of a Cisco announcement, in which they announced a free, open source version of the codec (though still patent-encumbered). [3] Don't forget that one of the major codecs we're relying on at this point is WebM, which is (nearly) entirely controlled by Google at this point. -- Matt (talk) 14:44, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    As I said above, Cisco's version of the codec apparently would have to be downloaded by Firefox as a proprietary blob, and it is video-only. --AVRS (talk) 20:43, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Same as my comment above, still not sure what your point is on this one. My comment was that Mozilla is indeed adding it, nothing more. Also, H.264 is just the video codec, and has absolutely zilch to do with audio in the first place, so I'm not sure what you mean by the video-only comment. -- Matt (talk) 21:07, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  40. Support per Luis Villa above. Supporting MP4 at this time is a sensible tactic for getting more videos into Commons. Getting more video available in VPM will strengthen VPM even if we also have more video in MP4 in the short term. Filceolaire (talk) 15:32, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  41. Support. I think it is part of our mission to not only to provide access to knowledge directly, but also to help nurture the broader ecosystem of free knowledge and free software, and so I think fully free formats have a critical role in what we do. However, we are essentially a non-entity in this space right now, and whether or not we use the (no-longer-current-generation, only-patent-encumbered-for-so-long) h.264 makes no difference to whether or not a free format wins out in the long run. What can make a difference is if we become an important source of and destination for great video content. If using h.264 now helps that happen, it can put us into a better position to have an influence on the longer term future of open vs encumbered formats. I also don't see this making a practical difference to the feasibility of forking (which is already encumbered plenty by widespread use of non-free content, and in the case of video we'll be converting all non-free formats to free ones in any case.)--ragesoss (talk) 15:43, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  42. Support per Filceolaire. Rcsprinter123 (talk) 16:00, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  43. The recent board resolution regarding WMF guiding principles states that "we strive to use open source tools over proprietary ones, although we use proprietary or closed tools (such as software, operating systems, etc.) where there is currently no open-source tool that will effectively meet our needs." With the large number of users using browsers and devices with little to no support for Theora/WebM and the relative difficulty in producing videos in these formats, the free options do not meet our needs, which are "to make material in the Wikimedia projects broadly accessible to all … and to eliminate barriers that could preclude people from accessing or contributing to our projects." Per ragesoss, if we want to have some influence in the future of video formats, we need to actually have and use a lot of videos. For that to happen, we need to make it easier for people to contribute them. Mr.Z-man (talk) 16:19, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  44. Strong Support Although free formats would be preferable, this is an instance where practical constraints imply that the the "Full MP4 Support" proposal is as close to "optimal" as we can get. Since all content will be supported with open codecs in addition to proprietary ones, the only thing lost fundamentally is Wikimedia's position to encourage open-codec adoption. Arguably, this is not part of Wikimedia's objectives, and even if it was, it is arguably not very good at it given the extremely limited adoption of said codecs by hardware manufacturers. Adfernandes 17h03, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  45. Strong support. As Tim Starling noted, "WMF's mission is education, not the promotion of patent-free file formats. WMF's support for Theora for many years did very little to encourage the adoption of that format in browsers and devices." We've tried living the revolutionary dream, and it's gone precisely nowhere. We need to stop encumbering this part of our goal with politics and be realistic. — Scott talk 17:14, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  46. Support As I noted here last year the currently preferred VP8 is no longer free of patent licensing requirements. So there are no suitable patent-free formats. Either we abandon video altogether or we accept patent encumbered but free to use formats, including MP4.--JohnBlackburne (talk) 17:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Really good point. The exclusive support of WebM/Ogg is symbolic of our desire to live a world we don't. The fact that software patents exist affects all software regardless of its intentions or ideals. We need to look at things in terms of strategic goals and shifting the overall ecosystem towards more free knowledge distribution, educational video content free of advertisements, educational content that can be freely downloaded, reused etc. We should not sacrificing these goals, in a pursuit of "purity" ideology, play in-of-itself which is ultimately not reflect reality ( googles mpeg-la payoff, and the legal actions are taking place today over vp8 ( WebM ) usage. Certainly for device manufacturers, and operating systems its a different story, but for a web experience, we should be strategic and leverage technology we can while its agreeable with our participation goals. i.e there no royalties for webm for our usage today, and no royalties for mp4/h.264 freely distributed web content usage today. If that changes we should of course adapt. Today mp4 is an incredible tool, and path towards meeting critical needs of creating a participatory online video experience. Being strategic today, enables us to wield influence towards our goals in the future. Forcing an purity play, that once examined is not so pure, does not help the big picture goals. -- Mdale (talk) 18:21, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Sure it's free as in beer, but completely fails on the free as in speech front: "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Our primary objective is to create a free (as in speech) encyclopedia. Britannica does a better job than us at making a non-free encyclopedia, I don't advise encroaching on their biome. ;-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 18:29, 16 January 2014 (UTC) this is not to say that I oppose the distribution of free content. Far from it! Of course to distribute free content: first you need content, and said content must be free. :-P
    The point was simply that WebM is not "pure" un-encumbered if you consider google mpeg-la payment, and the legal actions against it. Clearly WebM has more of an explicit goal to be royalty free then h.264 but mpeg-la has stated the same for web usage. To conflate dual distribution of royalty free and less royalty free file formats so everyone can can access freely licensed content with proprietary pay for access copyright content distribution ( whatever the format ) is bit of a stretch. -- Mdale (talk) 18:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    I read through the patent license agreement. It seems more like an extra defensive layer, and likely not incompatible with OSS. It'd be interesting to read more analysis on this. --Kim Bruning (talk) 18:13, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  47. Support Free content that can't be viewed by (most) mobile users doesn't help spread that content. Support formats that readers can render. Maplebed (talk) 17:36, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    You can't spread free content if it is no longer free though ;-)
  48. Third choice: my preference would be no mp4 at all, or kept at arms length. But if we do have to bow to the mighty MPEG LA, then make sure we have copies of everything in a Free format, and mp4 is kept and clearly provided only as "provided for legacy hardware support only" --Kim Bruning (talk) 18:13, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  49. Support - shabbat is for man, not man is for shabbat. Ziko (talk) 19:21, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  50. Symbol support vote.svg Support In short, I think usability is a bigger factor than having every aspect of the content on WMF projects free. Yes, please, allow us to view and contribute videos on any platform.--Snaevar (talk) 19:25, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  51. Symbol support vote.svg Support Wikipedia has been using the Free Software solution for a while not, and it has clearly not filled the need for a video format that people can be easily consumed around the world. At least the MP4 format isn't encumbered by DRM. Asperous (talk) 19:42, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  52. Symbol support vote.svg Support This option seems to work best, with these provisos: It should be re-examined regularly, to take any potential worldwide VP9 adoption into account (Google hopes for 2016), with some sort of specified "worldwide availability metric" to measure against. As soon as it is possible to reasonably satisfy this "available to everyone" goal with a FLOSS codec, then we should switch MP4 support off, to re-establish our most ideal situation of additionally encouraging open licenses. Preparations should be made before MP4's potential 2016 licensing changes. All material uploaded in the meantime will be perfectly safe, and will potentially grow immensely. This will give our vision of "every single human being [currently alive] can freely share in the sum of all knowledge" [my addition] the most impact, therefor this option seem best in the long and short runs. There are a lot of people in various parts of the world with immediate access problems, both watching and submitting, whom are our priority. Quiddity (talk) 20:18, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  53. Support Per Sylenius: The main mission of Wikipedia should be to spread free knowledge, not to spread free file formats. Aarcos 12:57, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  54. Symbol support vote.svg Support A dual-format approach seems like the ultimate win-win. Use MP4 to reach more users, and if anything goes wrong, the open format versions still exist. Offering an alternative format doesn't seem to me to conflict with the goal of having every video in an open format, it just supplements it. It is especially difficult for novice users to determine why video and audio on Wikipedia do not work in the same way as other video sources on their device. These users will likely not watch the video, rather than determine how to download a different browser or use a different compatible device. All people should have easy access to Wikipedia, and Wikipedia's data should be offered in an open, portable, and future-proof way. This proposal addresses both of those issues in a satisfactory way. --Supapuerco (talk) 22:37, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  55. Symbol support vote.svg Support It is a better container and is more compatible. Seems like a no brainer. --Gregc (talk) 23:09, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  56. Support I often browse from devices that do not support the current formats. PaleAqua (talk) 23:16, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  57. Locking free content in formats that aren't supported is worse than using non-free formats that simply work. Nobody in the real world out there gives a shit about the format. --TMg 23:29, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  58. Symbol support vote.svg Support. Of course, we like OGV because it's free licensed. But who else is using it besides Wikimedia? We should get out of this prison. Benoit Rochon (talk) 23:56, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  59. Symbol support vote.svg Support. I am not prepared to risk security problems by installing potentially buggy third party codecs, so I have never seen any video content posted to wikipedia. Most site visitors are not even tech savvy enough to figure out how to install those codecs. How do we know someone hasn't uploaded a video with an embedded buffer overrun exploit? Commonly used and officially maintained formats can be trusted. Niche ones cannot. -- 23:58, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  60. Symbol support vote.svg Support. per User:Brion VIBBER. stop the madness, use the used format and migrate to open. proselytizing by turning blue is dysfunctional. Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge 00:20, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Hi Slowking4. I'm not sure Brion has taken a position here. Consequently I'm not sure what your "per" is about. Can you clarify? --MZMcBride (talk) 02:38, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    "Finally, I've been socializing the notion of MP4 (H.264/AAC) video and audio transcoding output, which will allow us to serve video and audio to Macs, Windows 7/8 PCs, iOS, and other desktop and mobile platforms without additional local software installation. There are some ideological issues with even partial support of a patent-encumbered format, but we'll see how it goes – our goal is to get information out to people, after all." [4] Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge 02:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Aha, right. Thanks for the link, I'd forgotten about that part of the interview. It's interesting to see the breakdown of Wikimedia Foundation staff in this RFC, including comparing who has and hasn't weighed in yet. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  61. Symbol support vote.svg Support As an artist I have created and uploaded videos to commons, I can draw things that free video shall never be available for, like the chinese space station however, as the embargo spells out as one example, and as another example, all the other admins turning up here and voting the exact same way to overturn the decision of the wider community, it's the fucking trolls who run and ruin the project that are the problem, not so much the format of the video. You're discussing the arrangement of the deckchairs on the titanic. I say, lay them out in mp4 format, creating them in ogg or mp4 is a trivial matter, as is copying them to a replacement project. Penyulap 01:30, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  62. Symbol support vote.svg Support, with the caveat that a copy in a Free (as in speech) video format is retained at all times. One thing to consider is that the transcoding will actually create more libre content, as MP4 that would never be otherwise converted to Theora will now be available for browsers that support it. You could even think of it as "freeing" MP4-encumbered video. Titoxd(?!?) 02:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  63. Symbol support vote.svg Support While I'd love to live in magic fairy land where all my computing tools are both free and of high quality, I live in real world poopy land where we sometimes have to pay to play with the big boys (and girls). I've been working in the professional video/animation world for almost ten years. The one time I had to prep files for WebM and Theora was a unpleasant experience, to say the least. My recollection is that the tools (on MacOS X) were kind of a joke — the choices were either really crappy, ultra basic, and free, or way beyond what I was willing to spend on this particular project (to the tune of $700+?). I finally found a command-line script that worked for me. That sort of thing may fly in Linux land, but no way is that gonna fly in the pro video world, let alone for Joe Schmoe. Or maybe we should stick to WebM/Theora and force people to use BeOS while we're at it. No thanks. Damienivan (talk) 03:46, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  64. Symbol support vote.svg Support I got tired of format wars back with VHS vs BETA. Please support the one true video format.-- 04:13, 17 January 2014 (UTC) (UTC)
  65. Symbol support vote.svg Support H.264 is increasingly supported by hardware. E.g. both my laptop and my phone have hardware H.264 decoders and the people that made them have already paid into the MPEG LA. in fact the MPEG LA have said that H.264 encoded internet video that is free to end users will never be charged royalties. People worrying about patents simply don't understand that it's hardware companies like Intel and Qualcomm who pay the patent fees, not end users.
  66. Symbol support vote.svg Support There are millions of low end smart phones being sold across the developing world every day. mp4 will be the only way to reach these million of users that have no other technology at their disposal, they simply can't "buy" a fancy new phone that can decode WebM in software. Its feels arrogant to put self righteous ideological free software purity before helping people access free knowledge. Why prevent these users from accessing free content? No one is proposing removing our strong and unwavering commitment to free formats, only adding support for people that have no other way to access this free knowledge 04:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    • If there are so many such phones, why isn't this RFC swamped with people from developing countries pleading for MP4 video? I know one country in the developing world (richer than the average Africa country but poorer than the Latin America average) and the number of people who get an internet signal on their phone is somewhere between two and five percent (i.e. the rich); the normal people buy scratch cards at the local shop that give them 60 minutes internet access from their laptop/desktop. I live in the developed world and I can't view the WWW on my phone. Half my friends can, half can't. I get a laugh out of this fairytale that the developing world's education problems stem from a lack of MP4 video. Gronky (talk) 20:00, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
      • Because our readers are severely underrepresented in such policy discussions. Which is why we get overwhelming amounts of unpractical Opensoucre fanatism from geeks who think that transcoding videos manually before uploading them is a totally normal and acceptable thing. --Dschwen (talk) 20:28, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
        • Jeez, Dschwen, I'm amazed you are having a crack at all us geeks now. Whatever happened to staying mellow? You are coming over as more than a teensy bit fanatical yourself. Stay off the coffee for a day. -- (talk) 20:39, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
        • Dschwen, I don't think under-representation is that big a factor, but if it was, it might explain why we're not swamped, but you should still be able to show me a few, let's say five users from developed countries saying that lack of MP4 is a problem for them. Can you? Gronky (talk) 20:43, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  67. Symbol support vote.svg Support Five years ago, I demoed an open-sourced Flash-based Ogg Vorbis audio player for Internet Explorer users. I asked staff about the minimal changes needed to support it on the Toolserver. I was told to forget about it since they wanted to use the native platform libraries. If they were truly dedicated to FLOSS ideals: 1) they would've 2 years ago pressured Google to follow-through on dropping H.264 from the browser and 2) implemented a software WebM decoding on the iOS Wikipedia App. The war is over now. Time to focus efforts on the 3D Printing/Oculus Rift revolution and Wikipedia Zero (I hope they come to AT&T next!). —Dispenser (talk) 04:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Addendum: Thanks to crap tools for Theora & WebM, users are uploading animations in GIF instead — User:Dispenser/GIF check. —Dispenser (talk) 22:26, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  68. Symbol support vote.svg Support Getting more contributors is what matters in the long run and MP4 is the current defacto standard for video content production. Cochonfou (talk) 06:49, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  69. Symbol support vote.svg Support this option, but I'm also sympathetic to the "viewing only" option below. It's unfortunate, but this is the world we live in. The one thing that is not negotiable is that Wikimedia must never require the use of encumbered software. This proposal does not compromise that. De Guerre (talk) 07:28, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  70. Any mean to ease contribution and consultation is a good move. Joël Brogniart 21:16, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
  71. Strong support. opening to more standards, even closed-patented ones, is a good thing, as it encourages more content contribution and more compatibility. Using obscure (even if open) standards will make wikimedia a closed off silo. ugilad 21:16, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
  72. Symbol support vote.svg Support If "All videos would be automatically stored in both formats", that's enough for me. Contributors should be free to use whatever format is more convenient for them, provided users should also be free to choose whatever format they want to access the video. Litlok (talk) 09:02, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  73. Symbol support vote.svg Support As I responded to in a comments section below - this is about the culture of Wikimedia in general. Do we want Wikimedia to be about the continued characterization of being closed-minded and "tech elite" focused, or do we want it to be open-minded and "the general population of the world" focused? If we truly want (as I do) Wikimedia to be focused on everyone, then more openness (in terms of access) is a good thing. Internet Explorer is still the dominant web browser on conventional desktop/mobile computers in terms of web access share. Safari Mobile is still the dominant mobile phone web browser in terms of web access share. Until an overwhelming majority of web browsers support open/free formats, if we want Wikimedia to be open to all, we need to support what an overwhelming majority have. Ehurtley (talk) 09:12, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  74. Symbol support vote.svg Support I support usage of the mp4 video format. We should be aiming as always for more accessible video formats, so this makes perfect sense when the vast majority of cameras and smart devices universally produce H.264 videos.
  75. Symbol support vote.svg Support I have thought that not using a format that was actually supported by a serious number of devices was insane from the start. H.264 is what everyone uses so it should be supported. For example it is very difficult to view these videos on iOS and on Windows and Mac OS X these codecs aren't installed by default. Eraserhead1 (talk) 10:09, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  76. Symbol support vote.svg Support To provide the best user experience on any platform. --Muvon53 (talk) 10:10, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  77. Symbol support vote.svg Support For ease of import video. Prométhée33 (talk) 10:11, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  78. Symbol support vote.svg Support MP4 is now the de-facto standard container and MPEG-4 Part 10/H.264 the de-facto standard codec. There are a wide range of tools, free and commercial, that support it. Most mobile devices support it. It seems not very wise to exclude the majority of mobile devices and force the majority of desktop users to install additional plugins to view Ogg Vorbis, WebM or VP9. This looks like a religious war to me, a little pragmatism would be nice. Especially since this isn't about removing support for free codecs, but to add additional support for the de-facto standards. People who care about these difference will still have the option to avoid MP4/H.264. DarkDust (talk) 10:16, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  79. Symbol support vote.svg Support No important cause to decline. --A1 (talk) 10:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  80. Symbol support vote.svg Support For a significant part of the population, WebM/Ogg can be used only with additional effort. The barrier to consuming and providing media should be as low as possible. Stefan Bethke (talk) 10:37, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  81. Symbol support vote.svg Support Per 64·65 Support opinion. Yjs5497 (talk) 11:16, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  82. Symbol support vote.svg Support I agree with Muvon53, UX first. --Trickstar (talk) 11:36, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  83. Symbol support vote.svg Support Those opposing arguing that content must always be avialable in a free format miss the fact that it will be available in a free format, while ignoring the accessability issues for those that have no access to content in a free format. If we want our content to be accessable to all users, we are unfortunately tied to what's on the market, and the majority of devices on the market do not support free formats. It is the same as with GIF, JPEG (and possibly MP3); those are patent-encumbered too, but we have to use it, because our content would be inaccessable otherwise. Edokter (talk) — 11:57, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    @Edokter: GIF and JPEG are not considered patent-encumbered. MP3 is patent-encumbered, and is not supported at Commons. --AVRS (talk) 13:16, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    @AVRS: Really??? Even after patents expire, websites are still being sued. We also supported GIF while its patents were still being monetized. MP3 has patents, but no fees are due for simple hosting them. Edokter (talk) — 19:41, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Those are patent trolls. They thrive in this field thanks to software patents. Do you want Wikimedia to support those who help patent trolls exist? --AVRS (talk) 19:51, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  84. Symbol support vote.svg Support Wikimedia is the wrong place for format wars. --TheK (talk) 12:06, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  85. Symbol support vote.svg Support"The avalanche has already begun. It is too late for the pebbles to vote." -Kosh, Babylon 5 Cverlo (talk) 13:13, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Weren't the Vorlon's pretty hard line about not compromising (ie planet killers...)? Bawolff (talk) 17:48, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  86. Symbol support vote.svg Support At the end of the day, we want to reach out to as many people as we can (eventhough it may not be our ideal scenario). 13:18, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  87. Symbol support vote.svg Support In my opinion the hardware support is a killer argument. As a addition to the free formats, and no royalities which have to be paid, I do support this. --LordOider (talk) 14:06, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  88. Symbol support vote.svg Support per all of the above Fippy Darkpaw (talk) 15:17, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  89. Symbol support vote.svg Support I'm a savvy computer user and professional programmer. I cannot play Wikimedia content, either video or audio. I could figure out how to fix this, but it's too much effort. If I can't see it, I suspect the same is true for the vast majority of our readers. Maury Markowitz (talk) 15:23, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  90. Symbol support vote.svg Support I'm in favor of full MP4 support for reasons stated above. --KAMiKAZOW (talk) 15:44, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  91. Symbol support vote.svg Support Clinging to standards not commonly used for ideological or political reasons is foolish. If the primary mission is to share knowledge and educate, the methods the facilitate that and reach more people are the best methods. Thank you for considering this change. -- --Xiao-zi (talk) 16:17, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  92. Symbol support vote.svg Support per Luis Villa and Tim Starling. NathanT 16:51, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  93. Symbol support vote.svg Support as the point of Wikimedia is free knowledge, which this should help. Free software and formats are nice but we shouldn't be fanatical about it at the cost of the primary purpose of sharing knowledge. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 17:46, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  94. Symbol support vote.svg Support Nothing wrong in free content in a widely used file format. --Martina talk 17:53, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  95. Symbol support vote.svg Support For all the reasons mentioned above, signature: Z.babin (talk) 18:11, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  96. Symbol support vote.svg Support Because this will improve usability of wikipedia a lot Stefan2552 (talk) 19:01, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  97. Symbol support vote.svg Support I am of the mind to treat this as the US Supreme Court would when interpreting the how the constitution applies to a divisive issue. Per the open source guiding principle, "although we use proprietary or closed tools where there is currently no open-source tool that will effectively meet our needs", so the section arguing against this explicitly allows for exceptions. Yet the very next section makes no such exception after it states, "The Wikimedia Foundation aims to make material in the Wikimedia projects broadly accessible to all". I don't have an opinion on the issue as to which is "best", but the guiding principles make it clear which is the right choice for this question. Ted McCabe19:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  98. Symbol support vote.svg Support per IlyaHaykinson (talk · contribs). WMF is the tail trying to wag the dog in this case. Refusing to support the most widely accepted video format will do more to hurt our mission (delivering information to the world) than to influence vendors toward free and unencumbered codecs. We are better off providing full support for MP4 while also supporting efforts to get full adoption of free codecs into more browsers. Tim Pierce (talk) 19:48, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Can you explain how we can achieve "full adoption of free codecs", when your proposal is that (1) video submitters shouldn't have to use free formats, that (2) Wikipedia readers shouldn't have to make their computers able to display free formats, and (3) application developers shouldn't have to add support for free formats in order to see Wikipedia videos? It's like saying "I'm against the sowing of oats or caring for the field, but I support having a great harvest next year". Winning will take more than just words of support! Gronky (talk) 20:39, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
      • Without having at least upload support for MP4, we're never going to have a significant video library. If we want a seat at the table in determining what the next major codec will be (VP9, HEVC), we need to have more videos and use them on our sites. We have something like 40,000 videos compared to 120,000,000+ on YouTube and 25,000,000 on Dailymotion. Why would any browser vendor or hardware manufacturer care at all about supporting videos on Wikimedia, when we're such a tiny fraction of the market? Thinking that Wikimedia has any say over the future of web video in our current state is completely delusional. Mr.Z-man (talk) 16:45, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
        • Unfortunately, a "seat at the table" carries zero weight if everyone knows our "policies" are just a wishlist that we will ignore if necessary to display the next major codec. Gronky (talk) 17:19, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
      • We promote full adoption of free codecs by supporting and coordinating efforts to implement support for those codecs in browsers. Until browsers support free codecs to a sufficient degree, Wikimedia's refusing to support proprietary codecs is like Canute ordering back the tide. Tim Pierce (talk) 03:06, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
        • "supporting and coordinating"? The lack of support for free codecs is not due to a lack of "support" from Wikimedia, nor to lack of an organisation to help with "coordinating". Wikimedia doesn't have any influence in that domain. If they did, they would have "supported and coordinated" this work years ago and we wouldn't be having this discussion. I sympathise. You clearly wish there was an easy way, but unfortunately your suggestion equates to doing nothing and giving up. Gronky (talk) 00:45, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  99. Symbol support vote.svg Support Most of what it does it to take the difficult conversion issue to an automated central service. It is important that free content is available in free formats, but there is not importance that it may be ONLY available in free formats. --G.Hagedorn (talk) 20:13, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  100. Symbol support vote.svg Support Wikimedia is the wrong place for format wars. Make it as as easy as possible. --Stefan Bellini (talk) 20:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  101. Symbol support vote.svg Support Wikipedia's mission is to spread free information, not patronizing users. --Oefe (talk) 20:57, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  102. Symbol support vote.svg Support the third world countries are very fan of this format, this format is increasingly present throughout the electronic product made ​​in china and it is clear if you want a high penetration of wikipedia projects must not only adopt this format May all size opening can for high flexibility and adaptation with changing digital world caused by the real environment and technological boulversement --Bachounda (talk) 23:55, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  103. Symbol support vote.svg Support Wikipedia is about free knowledge. Exotic video file formats have kept people around the world from getting access to free knowledge. It's a shame that we've not acted earlier. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 00:06, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  104. I fully support the H.264 standard and believe that it should be implemented as a wider audience can then be reached. —Preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)
  105. Symbol support vote.svg Support I'm in favor of full MP4 support for reasons stated above. --Wvk (talk) 02:05, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  106. Symbol support vote.svg Support The Cheetah video example on the page would not play on my Apple iPad or my Windows 7 PC using IE or Safari. I could try to follow the instructions to update my PC but it would be easier to find another Cheetah video. If I wanted to reuse this video on another web site I would have to post instructions on how to modify users PCs. No Thanks, uses the format everybody else supports. Wikipedia, the web site with videos most readers can't view. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 03:13, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  107. Symbol support vote.svg Support The potential gain through increased accessibility and usability outweighs the potential loss of using a non-free standard. Regards, Christoph Braun (talk) 08:00, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  108. Symbol support vote.svg Support Was looking forward to such an improvement. Uploading a video now is just too hard, I uploaded only one, once, and I needed a secodn person to convert to .ogg, 'cause I really was not able to do it, even following all the instructions. --Sailko (talk) 08:54, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  109. Symbol support vote.svg Support it is good improvement. Because uploading Video at commons is too hard to me. Encoding time is too long and it is not easy to encode videos. I think many videos will be uploaded if we support MP4. --콩가루 (talk</spn>) 14:24, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  110. Symbol support vote.svg Support Ori (talk) 14:25, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  111. Symbol support vote.svg Support The more videos the better. --Nameless23 (talk) 16:18, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  112. Symbol support vote.svg Support During last Wikimania, I asked the Foundation's Storytellers Team about making their video more easy-to-use for people like me, who constantly hold lectures on contributing to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects (as part of the WMIL chapter). Since in most of the computers in places I get to lecture there's no way to show the videos whilst in the free formats, I have to convert them beforehand. For this reason, I currently find the videos Wikimedia produces not very useful (at least while not on YouTube). For always being on the safe side, not knowing also the bandwidth limits in places I'm asked to lecture, I always download the videos at home and show them in the lecture offline. Having everything in MP4 will certainly make it all more accessible for me and for others. Ldorfman (talk) 23:35, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  113. Symbol support vote.svg Support Many users, especially schools and educational users, will be left behind without MP4 support. I don't see any rational arguments opposing it, only ideological brinkmanship. 09:35, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  114. Symbol support vote.svg Support --Orikrin1998 128px-Nuvola man icon.pngNuvola apps email.png 12:53, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  115. Symbol support vote.svg Support Importing and watching videos should be as easy as possible, even for muggles of computer science. If there is a better and widespread open format in the future, then shall it be the one. Wikimedia and Wikipedia built their strength on the simple fact that millions of users use it everyday. Videos should be available for each and everyone of them. Jojva (talk) 13:56, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  116. Symbol support vote.svg Support Quark67 (talk) 16:48, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  117. Symbol support vote.svg Support MPEG-4 Part 10 is a widely implemented, very well documented standard and format, and more and more devices support it but not Ogg Theora/WebM. —Observ (talk) 18:30, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  118. Symbol support vote.svg Support Imzadi 1979  23:39, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  119. Symbol support vote.svg Support. This will be very useful as an educational resource. -- Cirt (talk) 07:08, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  120. Symbol support vote.svg Support As Musset said : "qu'importe le flacon pourvu qu'on ait l'ivresse" ; one of the most popular codec, only way to contribute and acess easely to those importants videos.
  121. Symbol support vote.svg Support I am for use of MP4. But, for supporting free software, we must put OGG in first and, if the user can't see the vidéo, select the option "See in MP4". –– tinoterramus (talk) 19:30, 20 January 2014 (UTC+1)
    I think you actually are supporting something similar to #Partial MP4 support - Viewing only, but I'm not sure. PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:36, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  122. Symbol support vote.svg Support Wikimedia is about free information, however we get it to people. Its' disingenuous to talk about formats restricting people when the unencumbered formats we use will continue to be available OwenS (talk) 12:43, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  123. Symbol support vote.svg Support Let's keep hurdles to contribute as low as possible -- Wotan
  124. Nobody uses these strange file-formats you have to convert your videos to if you want to upload them here. I never understood why commons only accepts this crap instead of normal video-files. Weissbier (talk) 14:37, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  125. Symbol support vote.svg Support אבנר (talk) 20:05, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  126. Symbol support vote.svg Support To spread knowledge around the world should be our first directive, and a codec is only a tool and not a holy grail-- epiktetos
  127. Symbol support vote.svg Support Give the people what they want. NLIGuy (talk) 21:09, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  128. Symbol support vote.svg Support At the moment, dual format support seems like the best solution. We're not an island, but part of the rest of the internet after all.. – Danmichaelo (δ) 21:44, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  129. Symbol support vote.svg Support Absolutely. It's way beyond time that we stop pretending that using standard file formats is morally wrong, and way beyond time that we start realising that accommodating users and uploaders is vastly more important than pushing the free-software POV. Nyttend (talk) 22:47, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  130. Symbol support vote.svg Support leaving the open source codec as primary choose with the MP4 being used as backup for mobile etc (maybe basing on user preferences and UA). --Vituzzu (talk) 23:25, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  131. Symbol support vote.svg Support Some of our users have no control over the software that they have access to at libraries, schools, work, internet cafes, etc. It's good to prefer open source software, but refusing to make educational materials available to people who realistically have no other option is not consistent with the goal of providing the sum of human knowledge to these people. I prefer full access, with all videos uploaded as MP4s additionally being automatically available in a free format. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:43, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  132. Symbol support vote.svg Support Ovedc (talk) 05:52, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  133. Symbol support vote.svg Support. Our initial goal is the distribution of knowledge and making it available. I see no reason why we shouldn't support this idea. Danny-w (talk) 07:36, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  134. Symbol support vote.svg Support I think this is a reasonable.--Saehrimnir (talk) 12:17, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  135. Symbol support vote.svg Support MP4 is available in music and videos, so it'll be easier to convert media files. Who would ever install additional apps and use .ogg? And if downloading isn't okay, it would not meet commons's purpose, 'free database.' + This is the second account of Jytim. I'm saying this to avoid voting two times, by my mistake. Jytim4661 (talk) 10:21, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  136. Symbol support vote.svg Support per Tim Starling. Andreas JN466 10:45, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  137. Symbol support vote.svg Support MP4 is the easiest way for most users to contribute as well as to view video online. To specht (talk) 16:09, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  138. Symbol support vote.svg Support I understand the ideological Platonic view that Wikimedia should be 100% free, however pragmatically I believe the success of Wikimedia is more important and it should be as accessible to as many people as possible. With that said I think we should still find ways to encourage use of non-proprietary formats. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 17:14, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  139. Symbol support vote.svg Support the wikimedia projects must reach more people and that is why I recommend that wikimedia must support all types of open media and not just the MP4 Bachounda (talk) 22:22, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  140. Symbol strong support vote.svg Strong support Insistence on supporting only some media formats very problematic. This is especially evident in HTML5 Standard. Supporting all video formats, will bring users to add more video content to the wiki. --EffiB (talk) 15:01, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  141. Symbol strong support vote.svg Strong support The sea of oppose votes down there is the epitomy of Wikimedia's problems. Too many geeks!!! No one knows how to reencode their MP4 video into Ogg Vorbis or whatever bizzare "free" format we apparently use around here. No. Just no. I use Ubuntu Linux, and even I walk away as soon as I'm forced to google stack exchange for some hacky solution that most likely requires terminal code. Just no 🙅. I think someone here said something like "I found a command line tool that converts the video for you". Good for you & your command line tool. The vast vast majority of the contributors that everyone on this project is so eager to attract will simply say "eww. command line?? wtf is that. nvm." Making people jump through technical hoops is a very easy way of ensuring that only the most persistent geeks will stick it out and manage to upload anything.—Love, Kelvinsong talk 03:08, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
    Can folks lay off the thoughtlessly aggressive and hostile "fanatic geeks" comments please. If you want to say that Commons is not friendly enough to newcomers, fair comment, that is no reason to attack volunteers with a commitment to open knowledge and free and open software that have invested significant unpaid time over the years to make this project a success. Thank you -- (talk) 09:25, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
    Bad choice of words? That being said, there are many many contributors here (like myself) who have very little technical knowledge but still upload high quality content. Imagine how many high quality video contributors are giving up on Commons because format purists here are requiring rare and nonstandard encodings?? Those who know how to recode videos into Ogg whatever can still do that and upload their own videos like that—just make it easier for the non technical artists pleasee
    Also I just wanted to add—I think using our influence to force viewers to install codecs or switch to "freer" devices is a very very bad idea. When Ubuntu Firefox dropped flash support that was the most annoying thing ever. I wound up installing Chrome so I could watch my vimeo and youtube videos. I was not going to sit around and wait for google to make an HTML player or something. And do note that the iphone browser does not support any of these "free formats". So basically it's literally impossible for most people to watch these videos bc i don't think codecs are things you can just install in the app store. Not very free in my opinion if they prevent people from accessing it.—Love, Kelvinsong talk 17:48, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
    You may chose to insist on moot points and on ignoring the other side’s arguments, but insults is a “problematic” and “unhelpful” approach to the issue (to use the prefered euphemisms that will hopefully keep me safe from being blocked over «bad choice of words»…). -- Tuválkin 23:23, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
    ?¿ Wanna tell me which points you think are moot? && what do you mean 'being blocked'…—Love, Kelvinsong talk 04:34, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
    Your initial argument is one for creating new and simpler ways to convert videos to free formats before uploading them to Wikimedia, not that Wikimedia should accept or use non-free file formats. The desire for more viewers should not trump Wikipedia’s mission to only distribute content in truly free—and not patent-encumbered—formats. The ends do not justify the means, and stating that it would be great that there were more viewers does nothing to address the plethora of problems raised by those of us who are against this proposal. Encouraging the use of patent-encumbered formats simply hurts those who cannot view/use them due to legal, financial, or philosophical reasons. There is absolutely no reason why manufacturers of modern devices like the iPhone cannot support open formats, save the desire for total control over their customer’s devices. (And addressing your aside: Flash is still supported by Firefox in Ubuntu [Vimeo and Youtube work just fine], just not the newest version; this was a decision made by Adobe, not Mozilla, so it has nothing to do with this situation.) Aibara (talk) 01:38, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    I've heard this argument a few times now, that MP4 simply hurts those who cannot view/use them due to legal, financial, or philosophical reasons. Since nobody is proposing to replace any free format with MP4 precisely nobody will be worse off than before. --Dschwen (talk) 02:49, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    The purpose of proprietary software is to first attract users, and then lock them in to the format so they can use nothing else. The point is to achieve monopoly by eliminating competition - in this case, free software. If they succeed in killing off free video software, everybody will be worse off than before. Even those of you happily using Mp4 formats, because MPEG-LA decides what terms it will license its formats under. Pretty nearly every EULA I've read grants the licensor the right to change the terms at will. You don't actually own your proprietary software, you only license it. — Laurelrusswurm (talk) 10:11, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
    Because I see two sorta separate issues here. The first one is that practically no one knows how to make or convert video into Ogg Whatever, and is btw an issue that literally nobody here has suggested a workable solution to. Only the most experienced graphicists know how to do this—ie for me the only reason I know how to convert to Ogg is because I have a background in 3D design and rendering and the software I used happened to be able to export to Ogg. This transcends mobile/desktop boundaries—the Ubuntu user is no different from the iOS user or the Windows user (except the Ubuntu user probably has probably copied and pasted prepackaged command-line strings from google).
    The second is that it's impossible to view content on the most common platform people use. You can drive to Cupertino and yell at the Apple people & Steve Jobs's ghost all you want but as you said they're not going to support it. Your insistence on "free formats" is locking more people out than it's letting in. In fact it's not letting anyone in bc as Dschween said, there are still going to be Ogg videos.—Love, Kelvinsong talk 18:27, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    Nonsense. All anyone needs to do is download a free copy of any of a number of free software video editing packages. My own experience is with Kdenlive, which works just fine in Ubuntu Studio. All I had to do was drag and drop the video onto Kdenlive and tell it to to render as WebM. I've been using free software Operating Systems for a few years now and have never had to use a command line for anything. You can find free software tools that work in your proprietary system of choice here: XBMC is a multi platform FLOSS media player you might try: (talk) 10:11, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
    Idk about you but getting people to install 3rd party tools is probably an exercise in futility. Getting software successfully installed on linux platforms is a very difficult ordeal that typically involves pages of sourceforge wiki manuals, .blah config files, choosing the right download package (between "nightly" "alpha" and etc versions) and in severe cases, compiling. (Unless of course it's in the software center, but it's still difficult to find what you need as you no longer have google to help there) Much of the stuff for Windows is just adware or freemium junk that stamps watermarks or asks you to fill out a survey first. Would actually probably be easier to just host a converter here on Commons (though it would probably be a big server drain).
    && btw, I went to the iOS section of that XBMC player website. First sentence:
    "To install XBMC for iOS you must have a jailbroken iDevice".
    The Apple TV section wants you to install a 'linux based operating system'. 😶—Love, Kelvinsong talk 23:47, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
  142. per Dschwen and Tim Starling. Important is not the filetype but the content. But until there is a proper format here, I can upload videos on youtube. --Ralf Roleček 23:42, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  143. Make it simple to use. This decision doesn't prevent the use of free video formats. Trizek from FR 16:06, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
  144. Reading about this on the Internet leads me to support MP4 compatibility. It seems to be the technoogically superior format, as well as the one compatible with the most devices. Using MP4 will help people participate who don't have the hardware or software required to get videos into one of the license-free file formats. Soap (talk) 22:53, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  145. Gilgamesh (talk) 14:54, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  146. --Subhashish Panigrahi (talk) 09:38, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
  147. Symbol strong support vote.svg Strong support User friendliness is key and Wikimedia is not influential enough to turn the tide for the big masses to start using open video formats. Even if there wouldn't be technical issues to overcome. Waiting for possible future changes will not speed up the use of video on the different Wiki-projects, it would still take some time for these changes to become mainstream. Photo competitions like Wiki loves Monuments were possible because there were no technical hurdles for contributors. Content donations by GLAM's are also possible because they already have the files in formats that can be used. (Large scale) projects for more and better (use of) video content will not be possible without the possibility for people to use codecs they don't have to think about. Ter-burg (talk) 10:00, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
  148. In spite of the not unreasonable qualms some have about adopting a format with patent baggage, we shouldn't be making this an ideological war. Pragmatism should win out. MP$ is a much used format, and if we want to encourage users into contributing to and using Commons, mobile is likely to prove a key route. Here, the dominance of MP4 as a format in the smartphone market indicates that we should at least support it along with the other formats already in place. Illuminatusds (talk) 20:34, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Partial MP4 support - Viewing only

I recommend that we support the MP4 file format, but only to view videos: users could not contribute MP4 files, only open standard files. All videos would be automatically stored in both formats, to provide the best user experience on any platform.

  1. I support this option because I browse WP from a mobile device that only supports h264. There are oftentimes videos (and more frequently, audio) that I cannot play because my devices don't support them. I support keeping master files in free formats, because maybe someday 10 years from now we will have widely-supported free codecs, and Wikipedia should future-proof itself. But that day isn't today, and out here in the real world using only free formats for viewing only prevents users from access to WP content. 18:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Which device do you use? 14:45, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  2. I support this option because we want the content te be most widely available. This is however one more case of having to deal with somebody else's problem (i.e., the lack of patent-free codec on mobile devices). Maybe a more constructive idea would be to transcode videos to h.264, but add a banner on one side saying something like “You are currently watching a video in a patent-encumbered format because your mobile dovice doesn't support anything else.” This would help raise awareness of the issue, and get people to, maybe, pressure their phone vendors to include these codecs. Better than only silently hiding the issue, IMO. --OlivierMehani (talk) 23:41, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  3. I support this option - but only in that way, OlivierMehani described above. Users may see MP4, if their devices are not able to play free formats - but they have to be informed, that there is a problem with that video. Otherwise, I do really prefer the option: no propiretary MP4 in WP at all. Bgruen (talk) 21:03, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  4. To avoid a flooding of videos it is ok that only a upload of free formats is possible. The viewing with mobile devices is important, so viewing mp4 is ok. But I also find the idea of OlivierMehani (see above) with bannered videos great! Its a good chance to stress the importance of free file formats! --RudolfHenze (talk) 08:53, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Partial MP4 support - Contributions only

I recommend that we support the MP4 file format, but only to contribute videos: users could upload MP4 files, which would then be transcoded into open formats. Users could not view them in MP4 format -- and could only view these videos on devices that support open formats.

  1. Partial support sounds like a good trade-off --Alessio Damato (talk) 21:50, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  2. It's right there in the mission. MP4 is encumbered for reusers, and we can't make that not the case unless software patents suddenly get killed. We should, however, be able to ingest it - David Gerard (talk) 08:14, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  3. If this can be done without using donor money to pay for patent licenses, that would be good. If upload support means WMF needs to buy a license, then no! While I can see the benefit of users uploading MP4 if it is possible within free licenses (see geni's post in the next section), I don't think video should be a WMF priority, so this support shouldnt be seen as a reason for the WMF to devote programmers to build this. The priority should be support for existing open file formats which are editable to provide educational 2D and 3D models, e.g. for Chemistry, Plotting, etc. John Vandenberg (chat) 10:01, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  4. It is a good compromise between the fact that Wikimedia's projects have to use free format to publish its contents and the fact that a lot of the potential contributors are not able to encode their videos in an open format. Pamputt (talk) 10:38, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  5. This seems the best option, giving all the benefits of keeping Commons open for all interested contributors. This should apply not just for MP4 video but any other non-open format that we can design tools to ingest. There is no need to "deal with the Devil", this is a win-win. As for devices that are designed to not support open formats, for goodness sake, forget them, they are complete and utter lemons that vanish within a year or two (just check the last 10 years of device development) and we should be vocal and persistent in presenting that point to the public and any large company that believes that Microsoft's model of product lock-in is still a viable long term cash cow. By the way, as I understand it, if the WMF designs and hosts tools to break proprietary formats and makes the video available to the public in an open standard, the only legal entity that would be sued would be the WMF, not the unpaid volunteers involved - how refreshing it would be if the WMF were to make a stand and take any legal risks here rather than plead plausible deniability and leave unpaid and uninsured volunteers to pay damages. :-) -- (talk) 10:47, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  6. To me too this is the best compromise. It doesn't address the most important part: that it hassles our end-users a great deal, but I can't justify the difficulty it provides for re-use to find that acceptable. This is at least something. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 11:12, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  7. I want to stick as much as possible to free codecs and we do have good codecs in place. From that viewpoint I'd vode "no". But there is another perspective to it, taking the video initiatives a step further, from only storing flat files to a community producing videos. Here we have to deal with raw material, collaborative editing etc. There are many more challenges and one attempt for a solution would be a video editing server described more in details in this post: --Manuel Schneider(bla) 11:56, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  8. Ideally, we would only support free formats, but given the domination of mp4 on the market and the difficulty of converting videos, we should allow users to upload mp4 videos. As to playing video, I think there is currently enough browser and device support to keep only free output.--Strainu (talk) 13:07, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  9. I agree that the dominant file format means we need to be able to comprehend what is ingested. But it is not okay to ingest and spew using that file format if it means we are putting on someone else's intellectual property yoke. Commons' great benefit to the world is no-questions-asked reusability, and I don't want to see it compromised in this fashion, license freebie or otherwise. I'm with User:David Gerard on this. On the whole it is of far less importance to me as there is no guiding principal or idea that WMF is intended to be an *exclusive* repository of anything. Others do nothing but video, and that's great. I want there to be video, but it is not part of a grant vision to out-YouTube YouTube, or Vimeo, or any other huge site with billions of hours of video. User:Fuzheado is right - we lack the present toolset to be able to address such volumes of video, and I'm not sure that's a bad thing.--BradPatrick (talk) 14:45, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  10. I'm okay with this as a second choice, although since we will want to retain the originals in any case (so that we can re-encode them to better future formats), I don't see why we shouldn't also serve them to end-users.--ragesoss (talk) 16:14, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  11. Permitting to upload videos as they are, without the need to convert them, will certainly boost the things up incredibly. Given that the average proficiency with such software is low, and that the creative drive (and even talent) occurs more often, we should be more welcoming, at least with this pretty universal codec. But as a part of upload process, the video is better to be converted to a free format (unless this will lead to quality loss), and stored only like that. (Question for the lawyers: is it possible to convert a video e.g. via Will this necessitate buying a license for Wikimedia or not? Will incorporating such a tool as a part of the regular upload process necessitate it?) WRT viewing, WMF should certainly exercise its "unique position to encourage a wider adoption of open video formats": start talks with Microsoft, Apple etc. etc. and force them to include support for viewing such formats. Set up a meeting of Jimbo with Tim Cook, organise mass protests in Redmond, WA, anything. In comparison to developing our own software, this certainly would be more productive (and possibly easier). We can do it! YLSS (talk) 16:48, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    I'd think a Wikipedia Mobile app for iOS that played Ogg/VP8/VP9 would do the job. Even more so if Apple forbids it for its codecs - David Gerard (talk) 17:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  12. Once the content is uploaded, then it can be converted to a free format. This keeps patent-encumbered content away from Wikipedia, and makes ONLY the WMF a user of a patent-encumbered converter. It would avoid filling Wikipedia and commons itself with all forms of patented content. If that still is an issue, this scenario can be visited again. Victorgrigas (talk) 17:21, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  13. Second choice, If there has to be a compromise, this is probably the best way to go. Put an mp4 converter on a separate server (wearing the proverbial clothes-peg) and keep it at arms-length from everything else, then store locally in free formats only. I also like the idea of a video-editing server as mentioned by Manuel Schneider. --Kim Bruning (talk) 17:35, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  14. This is acceptable as a second choice as it will help us to gain content, but it still leaves us with the problem of a large fraction of users being unable to view it. Mr.Z-man (talk) 18:12, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  15. It's the best way. And should not be limited to MP4, it should be possible to accept the import the most common formats and trancode them on the side of servers. --M0tty (talk) 19:46, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  16. This seems the most pragmatic option, in my opinion. My background is probably relevant: I am a Wikipedia administrator (English) since 2003, an open source author (since <2000), and an expert (of sorts!) employed in the digital video area twice over the 2000/2001 and 2009/2010 periods. In the latter role I worked for most of the major device manufacturers including HTC, LG, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. In my professional understanding, the way the mobile device manufacturers work is that they just buy an SDK from chip suppliers when they are putting together their device design. They have no real control over CODEC implementation themselves, and often don't know the precise capabilities of their own devices in this area (re: bitrate before choppiness, etc.). IMHO it is in the internet and Wikipedia's mission's interest to put pressure on the chip suppliers to support accelerated processing of open CODECs. That should be longer term, concerted Wikimedia outreach type project for the tech staff, possibly in conjunction with Mozilla's FirefoxOS people who are now deploying devices to multiple markets. Accepting and transcoding content in non-free formats seems the most rational workaround while we're waiting for full support. This will encourage the soulless corporate members of the internet device and software ecosystem to err in the right direction. Pratyeka (talk) 21:23, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  17. Freedom for uploader and freedom for watcher. --Palu (talk) 21:56, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  18. If web browser support is the problem, work with the browser vendors to improve support. In the meantime automatic conversion would not be a bad idea. —Remember the dot (talk) 22:48, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  19. It's fairly simple: Let the users upload everything, convert on the server if there is a problem with the format. There's nothing to loose. More formats will lead to more uploads. More uploads will create more pressure to support the free formats. --TMg 23:13, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  20. I am comfortable with this compromise. Wikipedia first exposed me to OGG and I am grateful for that. -wbrenna36 23:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  21. I support this only if transcoding can be done losslessly and without any cost to the Wikimedia Foundation. Anonymous-232 (talk) 01:24, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  22. A sensible compromise, but ultimately doesn't address the issue with content being unavailable in many mobile devices. Second choice. Titoxd(?!?) 02:06, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  23. This is a reasonable compromise as long as it does not incur any licensing costs for WMF. All videos will still be available in free and open formats while at the same time opening up the possibility for more contributors to upload video without having to transcode the videos themselves. --Hattmannen (talk) 02:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  24. Best option. Support even if not lossless. Nicolas1981 (talk) 03:01, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  25. WMF should not support the patenting of software ideas or companies that exist to exploit software patent portfolios. So, if WMF needs to make a deal with MPEG LA in order to transcode MP4 files, then I think they should choose not to do so. If WMF makes a business deal with MPEG LA, they will be lending credibility, legitimacy, and support to not only MPEG LA, but to patent trolls everywhere. Software-idea patents hurt many of us in the free software and free culture world (just look at the testimonies and statements at the USPTO round table events this past winter and spring and you can see clear evidence of this), and so on this issue, I think you should stand with the free software and free culture community and not support the patent troll industry. --Joshuagay (talk) 03:24, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Hi @Joshua, good to see you here. Thank you for the thoughtful statement. Do you know a goodlink to the USPTO events you mentioned? Also, could you clarify how this amounts to a vote for partial support (the section it's in),rather than an "oppose" vote (which is how it reads to me)? Is this along the lines of what @John V said above? -Pete F (talk) 17:36, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  26. All right. --MZMcBride (talk) 04:06, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  27. This is a good compromise - it would increase contributions while avoiding the issues of us using MP4 to distribute content. In the long run it would increase the use (and hopefully support) of patent-free video codecs as there would be more material around in those codecs that people would want to watch. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 06:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  28. I think this strikes a good balance like John Vandenberg above insightfully stated "If this can be done without using donor money to pay for patent licenses, that would be good. If upload support means WMF needs to buy a license, then no!" If it cannot be done without buying a license, then no MP4 support, we should certainly not fund those MPEG LA racketeers. Palosirkka (talk) 07:18, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  29. Per John Vandenberg --Tobias (talk) 08:27, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  30. WMF's Projects take proprietary knowledge and transcode it into freely usable knowledge. This is what we do. And we do it successfully --g (talk) 09:30, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  31. Eventually the most pragmatic way. It lowers the hurdle to insert videos while keeping Wikipedia intact. Also other forms of adaption can be made. If this solution is not available or requires signing of any kind of NDA, I oppose implementation at all. Raffzahn (talk) 12:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  32. With the SOPA blackout we showed willingness to accept short term inconvenience to our users in order to support what we perceive to be their long term interests. Now, who the hell are we to decide their interests? Well, we're 'experts' in this field and must have the courage of our convictions to promote what we perceive as right - just as we hope that the experts in various other fields (medical, legal, mechanical engineering) are looking out for our interests in those fields. In this case, the user inconvenience (lack of support for unencumbered formats) is the fault of other organizations. We can choose to harm ourselves somewhat to make up for the failings of those other organizations, or we can choose to make a stand. I do support accepting uploads in various encumbered formats as long as it's not too harmful (i.e. costly / incovenient). Open4D (talk) 13:11, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  33. That's by far the best idea, I think. It solves the problem of missing contributions without the negative consequences of providing videos in a non-free format. ToBeFree (talk) 15:17, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  34. This, I feel, is the right balance between usability and open standards, with a mind to the future of the mobile web. Forpeterssake (talk) 16:42, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  35. 2nd choice, if only so that we actually have some video by 2028 when the patent runs out. Smallbones (talk) 00:51, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  36. (Moved from above.) 1st choice. We should make our ingest tools as effective as possible; we should ingest anything that we can quickly convert to WebM. Supporting free, patent-unencumbered formats is important for the spread of free knowledge: so is accepting any and all educational files released under a free license. We should invest in both every year. This means we should support and invest in the development of the WebM toolchain, including players, editors, and transcoding tools. We have not done much to support transcoding tools to date. The initial implementation looks promising.
    I can see providing a series of options for users who can't play free formats: a link to install a player, a link to a third-party converter, or a link to other formats that we host. But we should not make it easy for readers to use WebM-incompatible browsers -- and this should certainly never be done transparently. I'd like to see better data on usage and browser limitations in order to identify popular combinations that literally cannot play WebM or Ogg. Then we can develop alternatives for them.
    Unfortunately, over half of the opposition to enabling MP4 uploads and transcoding are related to some misunderstanding about what that would entail: whether we could do this without compromising the free-license nature of everything we show to readers. Please make this simple for the community so that we can do away with the current creation bottleneck. --SJ+ 04:36, 18 January 2014 (UTC) + 03:48, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  37. We will be able to open these files after the patent term expires. And now this format is more convenient for uploading by contributors. — putnik 11:34, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  38. FFmpeg is a good solution to convert mp4 to webm and can be processed by wikimedia foundation. Dacoucou (talk) 15:37, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  39. First choice, if and only if no WMF money would be going to a software patent holder with implementation. WMF should not be supporting software patents, exactly the opposite. If WMF funds would be going toward MPEG-LA, or they can't say whether that would happen or not due to secrecy, consider this an oppose. Seraphimblade (talk) 16:40, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  40. What if WMV (windows media video) was the largest used video format? This was the case a few years ago and now it's not supported at all in the new devices (mobiles) to access Wikipedia. The most widely used format changes from year to year. If wikimedia chooses mp4 now, for sure the largest supported format will be different in 3 years (Google video format?). The storage format should be an open one with best quality and longest support. We should push its support on platforms. (Provide plugins or apps if possible if needed to read it) --Eon2004 (talk) 17:47, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  41. With WP's current size and visibility, we have a great opportunity to promote free formats for all on the Internet by rejecting MP4. WP should not compromise with non-free codecs, and no material in such codecs should be part of the corpus. I'd vote no for these reasons (and several more), but nothing major prevents us from providing tools to help the user convert uploaded material to free formats, a little bit like using a proprietary software to produce or browse WP content: that doesn't affect the content, but eases the life of the contributor. --Witoki (talk) 01:46, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  42. I don't think there is an ethical issue to let users upload mp4. It could be nice to put a link to firefox if the browser doesn't read WebM.
  43. actually against, but TMg had a better idea above ;) --Don-kun (talk) 11:43, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  44. I strongly oppose MP4 as a viewing format, but I think this is the best solution. The end-user should not be penalized by vendors bad choices for their camera and other devices. The main storage of a media should be in the best quality possible under a truly open format --Jérémie Bouillon (talk) 01:45, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  45. I "voted" no MP4 support. I would consider this option if it was developed and explained, but in this current RFC which gives too little info about the problems of MP4, the only safe option is to oppose the proposal. One question is what to do with the MP4 videos after conversion:
    • One part of me says they would have to be deleted after conversion, to avoid them becoming an argument for wider MP4 usage later.
    • Another part of me says it would be ok for them to be stored under the promise that they would not be used for anything other than conversion until the MP4 patents expire (that could be 2028).
    • Or maybe the only acceptable way for this to work is for the conversion to be an independent web service, with no organisational connection to WMF and no MP4 touching WMF's servers. That last solution has the disadvantage of being out of the control of WMF but has the added advantage that this service could be part of a new campaign to increase the amount of WebM video. Gronky (talk) 03:25, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  46. Transcoding involves loss of quality. If the original video is MP4 it should also be archived as an MP4-file such that we can rely on that one if there are any problems with conversions, if we want to support a new format etc. (multiple reencoding is bad). It is also a matter of authenticity of the source. However, we should not support the MP4-lobby by providing the videos in MP4. --Chricho (talk) 23:46, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  47. It may be convenient to be able to upload content in restricted formats like MP4 (and then transcode them), as those are usually produced by the available hardware, but for viewing, I strongly support *only* free and open formats. We harm the open web if we endorse restricted formats. (Nicubunu (talk) 19:06, 22 January 2014 (UTC))
  48. As long as the conversion was done as part of the upload and we weren't storing anything in MP4 WereSpielChequers (talk) 11:06, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  49. This would (1) allow increased numbers of video contributions, (2) increase the amount of freely-available and open-licensed video on the Internet, and (3) not compromise our commitment to hosting/serving information only in free formats. So it seems to me it's a win-win-win situation. Waldir talk 15:29, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  50. I oppose MP4 as a viewing format; however, I support it as an upload format as long as it doesn't cost a lot for re-encoding and possible licensing. If this is not possible, I would oppose MP4 entirely. Providing video in MP4 will only prolong its dominance. Also, since VP9 is getting widespread hardward support, viewing it should not be as problematic in the future. --Article editor (talk) 01:45, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  51. Fighting users is very difficult, and to make videos successful on Wikimedia, it has to be easy to upload them for users. Fighting with webbrowers to support open codecs, however, is "sorta easier", all the more so if video is successful on Wikimedia, thus the need for making it easy to users. I believe it's one of the potential strengths of wikimedia to be used to promote open standards. Samuelthibault (talk) 10:22 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  52.  Esperanto: Mi forte kontraŭas fermitajn dosierformojn kiel montro-formojn sed subtenas ilin kiel alŝut-formon. Tio estas kompromiso, kiun mi ne ŝatas sed povas vivi kn ĝi. Per Samuelthibault, Waldir, Remember the dot kaj aserto de Gronky "I'm against the sowing of oats or caring for the field, but I support having a great harvest next year". Nuntempe Vikimedio malfacile povas puŝi al evoluigistoj de foliumiloj por ebligi montron de 40.000 videoj. Se ni havos multe pliajn (mi esperas ke per ebligi alŝutadon de neliberaj formoj tio okazos) ni havos multe pli fortan situacion. Sekve, ni helpos al adopto de liberaj dosierformoj kaj ne plu bezonos solvadi tiajn problemojn. Se la kosto por Vikimedio estus konsirderita tro granda, mi subtenas neniun subtenon por neliberaj formoj. --KuboF (talk) 15:06, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
    English: Strongly opposing to non-free formats to be viewing formats but supporting them to be upload formats. This is compromise which I don't like but can live with it. Per Samuelthibault, Waldir, Remember the dot and statement of Gronky "I'm against the sowing of oats or caring for the field, but I support having a great harvest next year". Now Wikiemdia with problems can push to browsers deveopers to add upport to view 40.000 videos. If we will have much more videos (I hope we do after supporting non-free formats to upload) our situation would be much stronger. So, we will help to adopt free formats as standards and we will have no more such problems like this one. If cost for Wikimedia will be considered too hight, I support no support to non-free formats.
  53. Support only for useful upload (I want to upload external freely licensed mp4 videos more easily). Strong oppose to all other mp4 uses because of "Why now?" argument. -- TarzanASG +1  21:18, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
  54. Do not try to make love with software patent holders!
    Pro: in my eyes our aim here is to get more content in free formats. There are many people having problems with client sided transcoding. I think we should help to liberate their files into a free format. Doing so we will get a consolidation in our fight for free software. However this includes the impossibility to keep the not free files here on commons. On the other hand these files represent the best technical quality we can get. So we should try to prevent this level of quality by using very high bits/pixel rates in the transcoding process or (better) using a lossless free format (vp9 will give us this opportunity). The resulting videos will be very large and will consume storage space (a little price for freedom). Please remember primary they are not build for viewing, but for producing the server-sided streams and/or further video processing on the best quality level. Another subject is the use of mp4 for streaming. First of all we should try to make our free formats usable on all important hardware. And I believe that an cooperation with videolan in this field would really be a nice idea. --Pristurus (talk) 00:17, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
  55. Support, allows easier uploads without supporting patent polluted standards Oxyman (talk) 20:47, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
  56. Support even if not lossless. --Avenue (talk) 12:25, 6 February 2014 (UTC)


I am not sure which of the other options to pick.

  1. Not clear to me why we should jump on the aging mp4 ship while it's sinking: isn't WebM expanding? As outlined in the introduction, the two most important desktop browsers support it (if one uses Internet Explorer one can't expect internet to work; VisualEditor doesn't work either); encoding tools are nice but does anyone really need them now that you can just download in WebM from YouTube? --Nemo 15:41, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  2. As user I like to upload and get the videos as simple as possible and independent of the client. MP4 always works fine, so I like it. On the other hand Commons is a well known website (for open licences models) with a wide range and should not support formats with licence problems. --Slick (talk) 10:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  3. As technology grows, MP4 is quite a popular format and is used in many videos, I think implementing the MP4 video format is a great idea, however with the cost for using the MP4 technology will not be free and will cost some significant funds. --///EuroCarGT 22:48, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  4. Sorry I could not write in English. Videolarda vandalizme açık ve bunun kontrolü çok zor olacaktır. Özellikle İngilizce dilinde olmayan videoların kontrolünde sorunlar yaşanabilir. Fakat başka bir portal (örneğin; VikiVideo) gibi bir videolu eğitim portalı oluşturulabilir. (English google translate: Video vandalism in public and it will be very difficult to control. Especially in the control of the video is not in English language problems can occur. But another portal (eg vikivideo) can be created as a video training portal.) Thanks.--i.е. v-mail 02:38, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  5. If your problem is the mobile/pad support, why can't your application specifically decode the open-source videos? If you had the codec in your mobile app, and that you invite mobile visitors to install it, you solve your problem.
  6. Only my suggestion, Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose for Wikimedia Commons. However, Symbol support vote.svg Support for local wiki files which can allow m:Non-free contents. As some mpeg format files are too hard to transfer to ogg format. (AFAIK I'm using 快播/Kuaibo/QVOD Player to transfer some, but my memory is only 4G RAM).--Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 04:53, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  7. I think that Maybe we can support upload the MP4 source , convert it to save a free encoding file to (like MP4->ogg),and not save the source.So we can let the user upload the video from the device which use the MP4 format and satisfy our misson which is for free copyright.--Cwek (talk) 08:09, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

No MP4 support

I oppose any form of support for the MP4 file format.

  1. Okey so you get your nice shiny 5DIII film say a species of bird and upload it under CC-BY-SA to commons. What does the camera manual say about that:

    "This product is licensed under AT&T patents for the MPEG-4 standard and may be used for encoding MPEG-4 compliant video and/or decoding MPEG-4 compliant video that was encoded only (1) for a personal and non-commercial purpose or (2) by a video provider licensed under AT&T patents to provide MPEG-4 compliant video. No license is granted or implied for any other use for MPEG-4 standard."

    Not very CC-BY-SA compatible is it?Geni (talk) 02:35, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    So next time, buy a device that doesn't say that in the manual. HTH. — Scott talk 17:08, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Good luck! I think that's the license all consumer products get. --Kim Bruning (talk) 17:40, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Geni, I fail to see that problem. Parsing error? I parse this as "may be used for encoding MPEG-4 compliant video" and/or "may be used for decoding MPEG-4 compliant video that was encoded only (1) .. (2) ...". So you can actually use it to encode your own videos as MPEG-4 and publish and license them however you like. Restrictions (1) and (2) apply for using your shiny camera's MPEG-4 support to decode movies from elsewhere. Lupo 20:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    At best, it's ambiguous. It could easily mean that (1) and (2) apply to both encoding and decoding. Superm401 - Talk 22:32, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    I don't think it's ambiguous. First, reading it as "may be used for encoding MPEG-4 compliant video ... that was encoded ..." simply doesn't make sense. If it already was encoded, you don't need to encode it anymore. Second, Kim posted below a link to a somewhat older license contract from 2005. In there, there's an equivalent formulation of that statement, but phrased slightly differently, making it clear that my reading of this is indeed what was intended. See article 7.1 in that license. Lupo 11:27, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
    I think it's worth pointing out that there's nothing technically incompatible between CC-by-SA and a patent encumbered format, especially in situations (like this one) where it's guaranteed that the CC licensed material will also be available in a format that is not encumbered by patents. The combination poses oddities, not incompatibilities. This isn't a proposal to distribute video in mp4 and only mp4; it's a proposal to distribute video in mp4 as needed while also ensuring all video is still available in formats not encumbered by patents. The practical effect of this proposal would be to allow some people who currently cannot work with video on the Wikimedia Commons to do so while ensuring that all video on the Wikimedia Commons is every bit as reusable (under a cc-by-sa license) as it was to begin with. If we end up supporting mp4, there will be two significant effects: first, the number of people who can access video on Wikimedia projects will increase significantly, and secondly, the number of people who can contribute video to Wikimedia projects will increase significantly. And since we'll be multi-encoding all uploads, people will be 100% as free to reuse Wikimedia video as they have always been. MP4 support would allow for more viewers, more video creators, and more reuse. Kevin Gorman (talk) 02:26, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    I've done some pretty long form responses to this below, first specifically on CC and secondly about commercial use and h264. Hope those help clarify the situation. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 05:11, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  2. Sorry, but ideologically I am opposed to patent encumbered formats. Well there are some complications with video, its nothing like it used to be, and at the end of the day I don't think they are sufficient to compromise on this point. To quote Commons:File types - "Our mission requires content to be freely redistributable to all. Patent-encumbered formats fail to meet this standard.". One of the things I love about Wikimedia is how dearly we hold the RightToFork even though we hope that option would never have to be used in a "serious" fashion. Thus I would want some random person on the internet to be able to make an exact copy of our site (minus trademarks/logo), without having to ask anyone else for permission, including not having to get an mpeg-4 license [Even if they could use the converted video, its still not the "same" site]. Last of all, the words "Though the full license agreements cannot be disclosed in public, as requested by their licensors..."[source] seems to be a scary slippery slope. Well I'm sure that the agreement has been evaluated carefully, there's something to be said about being able to look for oneself. Bawolff (talk)
    As an entirely other note, the concerns Geni raises above are rather scary on purely pragmatic instead of ideological grounds. IANAL, but it seems wrong (in a moral sense if nothing else) that a patent license related for a device could have any affect on the redistributivity of the content created with that device unless the user signed an actual contract when receiving the device when the patent in question has no bearing on the "creativity" of the content in question. I would love for the WMF lawyers to evaluate how enforceable such a claim is, and if it means what the claim appears to mean. Bawolff (talk) 03:22, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    If MP4 submissions are converted to free formats, then a forked site would still have the same content even if it chose not to copy the MP4 files. How is that not the same site in any meaningful way? Unfortunately, so long as patents exist, it's not just MP4 that is a patent encumbered codec. There may very well be patents out there that cover the encoding and decoding of free video formats. Probably many of those patents should've never been allowed to issue, but that doesn't make them any less troublesome. These patents usually cover the specific process used to encode and decode of the video. They're content-neutral. --Avoini (talk) 18:51, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    As Avoini above me mentions, since we would be triple encoding all videos, a project would be able to fork all of our content with no problem, they'd just have to drop one of our formats (that contains no content not contained in at least two extra formats.) There's no doubt that mp4 support would allow for more videos to be watched, created, and used; do you, Bawolff, sincerely believe that the fact that a fork would have to drop one (equivalent content wise) format is a bigger disadvantage than the advantage posed by Wikimedia projects having access to a far greater freely licensed video collection than we do today? Kevin Gorman (talk) 03:01, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    In my opinion, the right to fork isn't just about content, its also the ability to fork the infrastructure of the site (I recognize that this isn't the universally held definition of the right to fork). I believe that the Wikimedia websites should not be doing anything that a potential forker couldn't. I should note the conclusion I reached wasn't based on a single factor alone, but a weighing of the costs and benefits of various factors. In addition to the forking thing, I find the secrecy aspect goes against the spirit of our movement (Our movement is the volunteer editor community. We should not have to keep secrets from them), I find the way MPEG-LA presents itself to be generally scary (e.g. Geni's comment, other people's comments about how MPEG-LA communicates to the press), I worry this is a slippery slope (What if we find the percentage of our users who rely on mp4 goes up and up, and suddenly we feel we cannot walk away), I worry about the precedent this sets (what formats will we allow next), I worry about the PR aspects to those who are fighting for free formats ("Even Wikimedia went back on its position"). I also disagree that the format war is lost - there is orders of magnitude more support for free formats now (back in about 2005-ish, support was at 0%. Now its about 58% [5] (and the other 42% also includes some things that won't support video regardless of what we do. Also of that 42%, anyone with Java installed can play are videos which is probably a significant portion of those people) and things are looking positive for the future of VP9. On the other side of things, I'm not sure the benefits of MP4 will be quite what people think they will be. I cannot deny it will allow playing videos on iPhones/iPads (~10% of our viewers). In my mind iPhone/iPad support is the most persuasive argument for this proposal (Desktop browsers that don't support free formats often have Java on them (Often from the get-go without the user installing it him/her-self) which lets free formats be viewed, and even if they don't, people can change their browser quite easily). Many people seem to think that MP4 will open the flood gates for more video content. However I'm not sure if that's really true. I'm sure it will increase video contributions somewhat, but at the end of the day professional quality educational video is hard. Really hard. Converting to Ogv/webm isn't trivial but I've done it before, and its not impossible - I do not think lack of MP4 is the main limiting factor here for videos. Additionally our video intake rate currently is low enough that if anyone has a high quality video, odds are they would be able to ask someone for help, and someone would convert it for them. In conclusion I think the benefits aren't worth the costs, especially the ideological long term costs. Bawolff (talk) 04:05, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  3. I oppose supporting the MP4 format for the following reasons:
    * Ideological grounds: the WMF has free software / content objectives. Any support for MP4 would bolster patent-encumbered forces (MPEG-LA can cite Wikipedia as an adopter of MP4), and weaken the open video format community.
    * Uncertain future: As detailed on the background page, "MPEG-LA’s contract reserves the right to raise fees in 2016". A small part of WMF's infrastructure will now be subject to the decisions of MPEG-LA. These type of relationships and dependencies should be avoided.
    I respect your right to oppose, but you should work with accurate information. That 2016 deadline is obsolete and MPEG-LA has said as of August 2010, they will not charge royalties for the life of the license [6]. Now, I still have questions as to what "that is free to end users" means because that sounds awfully like "NC" which is not really compatible with Wikipedia's free content stance. But we should debate those merits and not 2016. -- Fuzheado (talk) 11:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Yes, "That Is Free to End Users" (right in the headline) means this is a non-commercial license, which means it is not truly a free/open license. Superm401 - Talk 22:32, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Fuzheado, I'm not sure if MPEG-LA's declaration is entirely clear. Fabrice Florin's comments on this page indicate that this is a possibility:

    Regarding your second question, in the event that MPEG-LA were to start charging fees in 2016, the foundation would review proposed terms to determine whether or not another RFC is required

    If the information is obsolete, it should be amended in the the Background page.Gnosygnu (talk) 03:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    In any event, I think the point about uncertain future still stands. The license agreements are secret ("the full license agreements cannot be disclosed in public") while there is a fee for the AAC audio codec ("require only a small upfront fee for the AAC audio codec"). Both of these points make the future of adoption uncertain and unclear (specifically: there could be other unknown provisions in the license agreement / the license fee may change or be re-negotiated).Gnosygnu (talk) 03:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    * Slippery slope: It is a disconcerting precedent to adopt a proprietary file format because it is widespread. Similar claims can be made about files for Word, Mathematica, AutoCAD, Photoshop, etc.. If the WMF allows itself to be persuaded to host MP4 files "for the good of many users", how long will it be before they host .doc files for a similar good as well?
    Ultimately, do we really want our open content ecosystem dil/poll/uted by proprietary file formats? Gnosygnu (talk) 04:39, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Of course you are welcome to your points, Gnosygnu. I would just like to mention that as far as the slippery slope goes, this is in no way meant to open up that door. Communities are free to adapt standards as they see fit within the scope and mission of Wikimedia and the Wikimedia Foundation wouldn't expect this to open up other formats like .doc. A format request like MP4 is unique and has to do with Foundation resources to help support the mission of Commons. We will always respect that. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 05:58, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    I appreciate it's not "meant to", but Gnosygnu speaks of effects, rather than intention - it very obviously does open the door, and is the very first thing opening that door. That door really, really, really needs not to be opened, and "meant to" is a derailment of discussion of the actual problem with the idea - David Gerard (talk) 08:21, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Keegan (WMF): I disagree, for reasons that are very similar to David Gerard. If the WMF decides to support the MP4 format, it would be making the first exception to host a patent-encumbered, usage-restricted file format. Simply put, the door to proprietary file formats would no longer be shut. There are no guarantees that the "uniqueness" of MP4 will not be argued again for some other file format in order to force that door open again.Gnosygnu (talk) 03:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    I also disagree with Keegan (WMF). "MP4 is unique" is a red herring. A value applies to the different "unique" situations under its pervue. This situation obviously falls under the value of using free software, so if it not applied here, it is a perfectly valid concern that it won't be applied elsewhere. Its like saying, 1, 2 and 3 are numbers, but 4 is a unique number. That is true, but it is a red herring.--Ian Kelling (talk) 12:52, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  4. I'm opposing straightaway after reading Bawolff and Geni's arguments. Patents/trademarks/fees all pose a problem. Agreed, the existing format is not conducive for mobiles, but then hey, my phone doesn't let me play any video from the web, so it hardly matters. But, it's a no. --Rsrikanth05 (talk) 05:18, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  5. Supporting a proprietary format would run contrary to everything we stand for. Σ (talk) 05:42, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  6. I remember the patent battles over the LZW-compression in GIF and Fraunhofer Institute MP3 well enough to vote NO! /ℇsquilo 07:48, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  7. This is against the ideals and goals of WMF in general; why make MP4 an exception? You also need to consider that technologies, and especially software, are continuously being developed and that more open source formats will pop up, leaving the community with more options to consider. Choosing for MP4 for the sake of attracting a "massive audience" is just not enough. I really think we should stick to our core principles and wait for another opportunity, which is probably in our near feature. -- Edinwiki (talk) 08:04, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  8. No! Wikipedia is not free with patent encumbered formats. It is that simple. // Wellparp (talk) 08:10, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  9. Second choice. I'd prefer we be able to ingest it. But this is the only other viable option - David Gerard (talk) 08:17, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  10. Wikimedia should supports only free format. --Accurimbono (talk) 08:41, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  11. Our mission is to create free resources. MP4 and its owners are contrary to our mission. John Vandenberg (chat) 09:53, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  12. There is not real free knowledge without free formats. MP4 is not, so we should not support it. Kelson (talk) 11:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  13. It seems that, in a bit more than 10 years, contributors have totally forgotten the purpose and the spirit of Wikipedia and associated projets. We don't want to publish the best encyclopedia and related material: we want to do that with the huge constraint of freedom (licence and software). This includes the freedom of file format. Arnaudus (talk) 10:37, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  14. You can take away our ability to conveniently distribute multimedia-content as hassle free as possible to the end-user, but you can never take our freedom! (self-deprecating hyperbole is mandatory for freetard zealotery, yet ha ha, only serious). By conceding small non-free things like this, we're becoming harder and harder to fork. We're already too big to fail - and that's a bad thing. If we put patents in the way of our re-use, we're getting further away from being a free repository. I don't really mind accepting and then transcoding, but re-use is too important for Wiki?edia in general, and commons in specific to compromise on that. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 11:09, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  15. Content can't be free if it cannot be expressed in a free format. --MathsPoetry (talk) 11:22, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  16. Per Geni, whose argument switches me from "partial support at upload" to "this mp4 thing smells like sulfur". Rama (talk) 11:25, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  17. Apparently I'm late to the party, so I can only say that I wholeheartedly agree with Σ, John Vandenberg, Kelson and especially Arnaudus. odder (talk) 11:36, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  18. Likewise. Gryllida (talk) 11:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  19. No thanks. We don't need MP4. We already support good-enough video codecs/containers. Azafata (talk) 11:54, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  20. Please keep Wikimedia free from software patents ManuD (talk) 12:01, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  21. No way. Data formats that depend on patented software are not compatible with the definition of free according to We must not support such data formats. --h-stt !? 12:19, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  22. Not compatible with Wikipedia values. Also an element of not broken, don't fix it. Kennedy (talk) 12:22, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  23. Against. Patents are incompatible with free knowledge. Lionel Allorge (talk) 12:24, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  24. Against. This would be an admission of weakness and assuredly not the way to push free formats forward. Zertrin (talk) 13:09, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  25. No way. Very much contrary to our mission. Gestumblindi (talk) 13:02, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  26. I support the spreading of free knowledge, but I do not support the spreading of patented materials, as far as Wikimedia projects are concerned. Elfix 13:08, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  27. Against. Non-free videos don't mix well with free knowledge. Bohwaz (talk) 13:25, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  28. A few years ago, I would have decided differently but now that I know that converting is not that hard, that I know that a lot of trash would be uploaded to Commons (like it is currently done anyway without enough people caring for that), that free file formats work very well (encoding all my music files in Free Lossless Audio Codec now), that Chrome, Firefox and Opera are pretty well able to playback free formats and that hardware decoding support for VP8 is growing, I am strongly against supporting Apple and MS patented stuff and paying patent fees. -- Rillke(q?) 13:32, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  29. (Edit conflict × 2) No, no, just no. Contrary to everything in our mission. We should apply pressure on others to support free formats, not surrender to others' pressure to support patent-encumbered formats. It's already bad enough that Firefox is going to support it - we don't need Wikimedia to become yet another traitor to the movement (free software/free culture, broadly construed). Then the companies with an interest in MP4 can really declare their victory. darkweasel94 13:34, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  30. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose VP9 coming out settled the quality debate. It was over, so it makes no sense whatsoever to go backwards, potentially leaving a stagnant codec as the pseudo-default on this site. Mardeg (talk) 14:07, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  31. Passionately against; what we have has been incredibly sufficient and I've never heard a single complaint or even request for such a thing. I echo again the "not broken, don't fix it". I'm against closed software and licenses like this. Let's stick to openness freedom -- where everyone works their best. --Bujiraso (talk) 14:25, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  32. No, a clear no ! Julroy67 (talk) 14:29, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  33. No, against our mission, and against our attitude. matanya talk 14:36, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  34. An unfree format is unacceptable. The argument of its popularity is disingenious, too, as the only sure result should Commons allow a highly popular format would be more cr@p being contributed, making the weeding of new uploads even more hellish than it is now (so far mostly restricted to jpg files), ever since MobileUploads was excreted — under the same pretence that it would make uploading of useful content much simpler. -- Tuválkin 15:03, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  35. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I'm a staunch supporter of the Free Software movement, and have been for some time now. From my view, this RFC doesn't fly in the face of the guiding principles - spreading knowledge would be served by this, in fact it's practically (but not actually) necessary in this day and age to support nonfree formats in order to get information out to the world, so I think our principles can reasonably be compromised in this case. However, I think the larger political situation surrounding the format wars and our considerable power to effect change in the ongoing effort to spread free formats tips the balance for me. We can reasonably push for easier ways to contribute, like better tools for conversion on home computers or better plugins for various browsers, but I don't think we can in good conscience support a format that's not free. I sure can't. --MarkTraceur (talk) 16:00, 16 January 2014 (UTC)(this is in my capacity as a community member, not as WMF staff)
  36. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Bawolff, Geni and Gnosygnu and also because I'm skeptical that most mobile created videos will be good. A good video usually requires editing, and video editing on mobile devices is quite limited so far. Skalman (talk) 16:24, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  37. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose my second choice on the observation that there would be nothing stopping the WMF from providing a separate transcoding space/tool for contributors to both transcode and edit video in preparation for releasing to Commons. With a pinch of cleverness, an online facility could even remain mobile platform friendly and provide facilities for large video uploading that would probably remain problematic otherwise. In addition, we could learn from Wikisource and include a system of peer review before release, how cool would that be for upping the "goodness" quotient? -- (talk) 16:35, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  38. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose a hard decision, but if we don't stand our own ground, how can we find our way out of this place? Maximilianklein (talk) 17:10, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  39. 1. How will the community be able to honor a secret license agreement? 2. Directly violates founding principle #5: because mp4 is not a free format. Readers of wikipedia would need to obtain a patent license to be able to access all of wikipedia. 3. We are giving treasure and conceding a political victory to our (right honorable) philosophical and political opponents. Are you sure this is a good idea? 4. That's a secret license agreement: How do you prove that the license does not contain any problematic clauses that violate founding principles? 5. This is like W3C proposing to support DRM "to further the open web". It doesn't quite make sense. --Kim Bruning (talk) 17:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC) Update: a copy of a typical license: --Kim Bruning (talk) 21:50, 16 January 2014 (UTC) update2: The proposal is that we would have mp4 alongside a free format, so it would actually be possible to regenerate all of the data although one would have to accept a small amount of quality loss.
  40. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The desire to have videos now should not compromise the long-term vision of Wikipedia / Wikimedia. Furthermore, it's hard to reverse this decision in a few years when a better alternative becomes available. - Simeon87 (talk) 17:22, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  41. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose. No, just no. You can say that our primary mission is education, but freely licensed material is equally up there. MP4 simply has too many licensing issues, and I don't see that going away. If a method to help uploaders deal with OGG and WebM could be developed, that would be great, but simply dumping our long-standing avoidance of license-encumbered formats is not the answer. Huntster (t @ c) 17:25, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  42. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per David Gerard. — Racconish Tk 17:28, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  43. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The licensing issues are just too much. -- TOW  talk  17:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  44. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Kim. Ironholds (talk) 18:08, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  45. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Simeon87. Seanpmonahan
  46. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Izzix. izzix
  47. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per Kim. ColdPie (talk) 18:44, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  48. I oppose MP4 Video for a number of reasons: because of the secrecy surrounding the agreement; because the providing of content whose legal use is somehow restricted to our websites violates our principles in so many ways; because we haven't really made a decent effort to make conversion to open formats easier, as we could be much more helpful in terms of software and interfaces than we currently are, same for playback; because Commons is not Youtube, people contributing videos of value will have no problem converting them if they don't find it hard, and in my experience people are not contributing videos to Commons because they think it is irrelevant, since youtube dominates the scene and the Common interface for searching and playing videos is horrible, not because of format issues. --Solstag (talk) 19:04, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  49. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose There is no reason to believe that the passing of knowledge will be prevented with open standards. There are many practical examples of licensing causing trouble. --Jcpilman (talk) 19:21, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  50. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The private license agreement is not acceptable, and violates a good number of wmf:Values. Legoktm (talk) 19:23, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  51. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose No way - it's the thin edge of the wedge. If this goes ahead then the whole MP3 scenario is likely to kick off - I do see messages at OTRS complaining that we don't support popular formats - if we go with MP4, then everyone is going to ask - "well you have MP4 - why not MP3" - that will become much more difficult to justify.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 19:37, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  52. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose How can anyone here accept "the full license agreements cannot be disclosed in public"? Seriously? --Krenair (talkcontribs) 19:39, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  53. Is really the format the problem ? Is allowing a non-free format a solution ? I think the easiest et logicalest solution is having a online intregated convert software. Plus, if we allow MP4, why not all the others formats ? VIGNERON (talk) 20:02, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  54. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Of course no. No proprietary software. Béria L. Rodríguez msg 20:14, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  55. You could make the same arguments for MP3 audio, too. Do we allow MP3 audio uploads? Not that I know of. Do we serve MP3? No. So why MP4 video? No from me. Lupo 20:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Just a remark @Lupo: according to Wikipedia, it seems that we could allow MP3 from September 2015 when the last associated U.S. patent expires (and in most other countries, MP3 patents are already expired). So, in fall next year, MP3 audio will become a free format acceptable for Commons, if I'm not mistaken. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    The various MP3-related patents expire on dates ranging from 2007 to 2017 in the U.S.
    [...] if only the known MP3 patents filed by December 1992 are considered, then MP3 decoding may be patent-free in the US by September 2015 21:34, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Well, the later patents are called "questionable" in Wikipedia, but even if we want to wait until these expire, too... 2017 isn't too far in the future :-) Gestumblindi (talk) 21:39, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  56. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I do not like the patents and I hardly see why we should force the users to be in compliance with them for accessing our content. I would prefer to see more development of the patent-unencumbered formats. And the secrecy for the agreement is not acceptable. ~ Seb35 [^_^] 21:22, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  57. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Non, s'il vous plaît, seulement des formats ouverts sur ce site libre de référence !--Flûte (talk) 21:40, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  58. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose There are strong pragmatic reasons to use the MP4 format, and no moral argument that can be mounted. The purpose of this institution is to freely spread ideas over the globe, "for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition", and as Jefferson noted, patents are in direct opposition to this. The pragmatic argument is strong, as the format in question is popular, but it does not consitute a vital nor existential crisis, which is the only possible grounds to violate foundational principles. And even vital peril must be heavily weighed against the compromise of integrity. I entirely oppose this measure. Tenebrous (talk) 21:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  59. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Patented formats would encumber reuse and make wiki content less valuable. -Erik
  60. First choice: no. Second choice: for contribution only. Third choice: for contribution and re-users, but as a clear second-class citizen, with no player seamlessly enabled by default, or with a significantly lower resolution. Even if it is implemented, users must still be warned about the problems non-free formats cause. Note also that supporting H.264 would encourage making it mandatory for WebRTC. --AVRS (talk) 14:00, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
    Also, assuming MP4 support would indeed increase the amount of uploaded video, see Túrelio's argument about checking uploads below. --AVRS (talk) 15:03, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    A question for those who say Wikimedia is to promote free knowledge, not free formats, apparently implying that they would be OK with switching to MP4 and abandoning Ogg and WebM: would you support a format usable only with a proprietary (but free of charge) program which works only on Windows or only on Mac OS X? --AVRS (talk) 22:16, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  61. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I understand why the WMF has thought about it. However, as of now, I oppose supporting MP4 in Commons itself. By signing a secret license and paying a fee, we're saying that no other redistributor of our content can do what we do, using only free software; as Bawolff said, this is blow to the right to fork. This directly contradicts our stance of using (and enhancing!) FOSS and free/open standards (part of why I work here). The points raised by Geni are also important (people contributing MP4 under a free license may be in breach of licenses like that). We haven't made enough of a serious effort to use our technical and persuasion skills to support free and open codecs. This should include:
    • Automatically prompting people to install codecs (e.g. WebM for IE)
    • Investigating alternative playback and encoding mechanisms (e.g. JavaScript playback and embedding a WebM encoder in our mobile apps)
    • Supporting efforts to make performant encoding and decoding of WebM and other open formats mainstream. Google has already built hardware implementations of WebM. We should consider using the same kinds of advocacy and partnership used for Wikipedia Zero to get hardware and software manufacturers to build support in.
    • Find key areas where we can make technical contributions to the free format world (plugins, libraries, etc.) in a cost-effective way.
    If we go with MP4, that won't be the end of it. We will have actually funded people (AAC license pool) supporting patents for mathematics (which I don't believe should exist at all). They will then point to us and say things like Even open standards supporters like Wikimedia and Mozilla believe our standard is so excellent they had to adopt it. They will then introduce new properietary codecs, and use the same tactics to try to get us to adopt them (maybe for more money this time). There is also a possibility they will raise the fees. It's true we could then delete the files, but by sticking with free formats those concerns never apply.
    Finally, don't think this is hopeless. The open standards community has already won important battles:
    • This RFC itself acknowledges the successes for open video (e.g. Firefox and Chrome support what we need here; I believe Opera does too).
    • Speex is a very popular open standard for VoIP, Opus (its more flexible successor) is heading in that direction
    • PNG beat out GIF.
    • DRM is effectively dead for purchased music.
    The point is that it's a challenge, but we can win (speaking for myself, not on behalf of the WMF). Superm401 - Talk 22:32, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Yes, opera does indeed support what we need (Opera 15 for android supports WebM. On the desktop, Opera 10.5 and later support what we need. Opera for some obscure OS's don't support video). Of course, opera only represents 1.12% of our viewers [7], so its a niche browser. There's a handy chart for browser support at w:HTML5 video#Browser_support. Bawolff (talk) 23:04, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Also, as noted by ThurnerRupert, it looks like WebM hardware acceleration is coming in a big way (for VP9). Superm401 - Talk 04:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  62. We must not compromise on freedom. It's trivially easy to follow instructions to generate and view free formats. Don't give third parties the legal right to decide what free content we may redistribute. Ntsimp (talk) 22:55, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  63. I oppose of supporting non free formats. Don't remove the incentives for device managers to support open formats. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (Discussione • contributi) 23:03, 16 January 2014‎ (UTC)
  64. Strong oppose The entire purpose behind this site and movement is free and open access. If users' (proprietary) devices don't support open formats, the solution is to encourage them to use devices/software that support open formats. —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:13, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  65. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose People must ask there excessively rich phone manufacturer to support free formats instead of adding cost, complexity and risks to the poor Wikipedia project. If there don't like free encyclopedia, don't use it and so don't complain that is use free formats only. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (Discussione • contributi) 23:25, 16 January 2014‎ (UTC)
  66. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The license agreement is secret, and patent encumbered formats have no place here. Aibara (talk) 23:55, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  67. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose There is no reason to use a proprietary format. The goal of the wikimedia foundation is to make knowledge free. It would be strange to deliver free knowledge in a non-free format. --PAC2 (talk) 23:59, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  68. Oppose: Secret licensing agreements and lending support to software patents are a definite no-no. R (talk) 00:11, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  69. Strong oppose Wikipedia and Wikimedia are now big enough that we will *affect* the natural history of evolution of the formats, not just play along. Simply put, if Wikipedia is not an option on device xxx, users and manufacturers will see this as a deficiency and add support for the media / codec / etc. Staying with open formats, and open formats only, will encourage the adoption and legitimacy of these. This is entirely in keeping with the mission of Wikipedia in keeping knowledge open and available.
  70. Oppose: Avoiding high-fee encumbered formats is too important to lose to perceived convenience.
  71. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I wouldn't say anything more than what Kim said --Kuwaity26 (talk) 00:26, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  72. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I did not donate wot Wikipedia to further the goals of for-profit companies pushing a proprietary format. Beakermeep (talk) 00:42, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    I second this. Having spent a lot of time editing, I never felt an urge to donate money to Wikimedia, but I would not be opposed to doing so, and I do encourage non-editors to donate. I would not be able to maintain this position if Wikimedia started paying off the patent mafia. These people and companies are ideologically opposed to everything Wikimedia stands for today. They are full of ill will towards software users. And they will make sure that this deal, if it goes through, will enrich them as much as possible, even if means that Wikipedia users have to suffer. People who use the spy-phones will never contribute anything of volume, since they don't have keyboards. It sounds harsh, but they are dead weight. If they want to see videos here, all they need to do is to install free video decoders on their phones. Oh, they can't? They are locked in? Whose fault is this, anyway? If they are so clueless, and we give them MP4, guess what? They'll just find another way to lock themselves in, with patent-holders' help. Will Wikimedia buy more licenses then? Let's not make a deal with the devil just so that we can appease the ultimate consumers. Melikamp (talk) 03:21, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  73. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose In order to encourage the use of free formats, it is necessary to discourage the use of non-free formats, and the easiest way to get that point across is to prohibit non-free formats entirely. 00:48, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  74. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Free formats are at their strongest now and will only grow stronger.
  75. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose While i would have thought such support would have made sense in 2009, in 2014 it does absolutely make no sense any more. that year brought two significant developments in spreading WebM: (1) Nokia lost its patent claim in Germany, and Nokia was the only one not signing the agreement with Google. And (2) Google worked on VP9, which is high quality. It is a matter of months, not years, when this will be widely available. This time most of the important hardware makers are on board --ThurnerRupert (talk) 00:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  76. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose As per the above comment, I believe VP9 will fix the current problems. --Mirek2 (talk) 01:03, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  77. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The only way of forcing manufacturers to support free formats is to avoid using proprietary formats whenever possible and especially on wikipedia --Zmi007 (talk) 01:05, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  78. Strong Oppose. The licence terms might be acceptable now (we don't know, as we aren't allowed to read it), but that is no guarantee that they will continue to be acceptable in the future. This proposal would effectively give the holders of bogus software patents the ability to demand a ransom fee from anyone wanting to view our formerly-free content. It would lend legitimacy to software patents at a time when the public are becoming increasingly aware of the failings in the modern patent system. This could be catastrophic not only for Wikimedia projects, but for the wider free content movement. Cynical (talk) 01:14, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  79. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose This would be a terrible blow on both Wikimedia's content and the future of human access to culture and knowledge. WMF should not support the closed formats and patent owners. It also would be a big betrayal against those who financially supported WMF believing they were supporting free knowledge (and would continue to do so). --Zedaroca (talk) 02:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC).
  80. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose A free encyclopedia should be in a free format.-- 02:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  81. Oppose.  It's still early in the game if you think about how long the Wikimedia Foundation will be in existence.  It doesn't make much sense to undermine core values—and future extensibility—for a compromised "benefit" now. GChriss (talk) 02:41, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  82. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose H.264 can't even be viewed without permission from the patent holders, the patents don't expire until the 2020s, and we need to encourage patent free formats. Jrincayc (talk) 02:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC) Also, Cisco has yet to release their binary H.264 viewer. Jrincayc (talk) 03:41, 5 February 2014 (UTC) As well, as I see it, the main reason H.264 patent holders are not putting more pressure on users is that WebM and Ogg Theora are viable alternatives. In the absences of a viable WebM or Ogg possibility H.264 could very well start charging Wikimedia for things that are currently free. Plus, how long do the patents for AAC last? (Is there a list of AAC patents anywhere? Jrincayc (talk) 21:21, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
  83. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Why now? The recent arise of popular free and open formats has already demonstrated that it can happen even though 90% of the devices in the world supports only patent-encumbered formats. That we are changing course when it is consensus estimated 1-2 years away from getting the new VP9 format that is going into mobile devices doesn't make sense to me as a right timing. Ask me to vote again 5 years ago, I could have changed course, but for now, this is the least bad option. --At2000 (talk) 03:02, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  84. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose It is very very simple: Free information unavoidably means no unfree tools or formats. None at all. Internet history has shown this time and again, and logical thinking supports it. Ignoring this truth will corrupt the freedom of the information Wikimedia wants to share. —Preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)
  85. Symbol oppose vote.svg Opposeopen and non proprietary standards are the only way to go forward. So people have devices that don't support open formats. I am sorry for them for buying defective products, perhaps they should return them to the point of purchase for a refund as they do not do the job for which they were sold. —Preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)
  86. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikimedia websites are the best places to find free videos, for me.Jshdcn (talk) 04:03, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Under this proposal, all videos would be stored in a free format and MP4 and they would still be freely licensed. This would only increase the number of free videos on Commons. Mr.Z-man (talk) 04:39, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  87. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose due to lack of a concomitant, proactive strategy to to make open formats become more prevalent. Without such, it is easy to interpret the proposal to diminish our commitment to open formats, whatever the intent, and thus to support the continued private taxation of communications tools, completely at odds with the vision. A proactive strategy, coordinated with other entities, to help make open formats win is warranted even if the proposal fails: simply refusing encumbered formats has been an insufficient strategy. I'd imagine a proactive strategy would involve product competition such as promoting VP8/VP9/Daala, and policy competition such as fighting software patents. Note I don't consider ~"get lots of videos, then we'll matter in the next codec battle" is the whole of such a proactive strategy, though it could well be part of one. Commons won't have a significant number of videos relative to the net at large due to various other constraints, no matter what codecs are used. Wikimedia's visibility, ability to coordinate with other entities, and eyeballs to Wikimedia sites, mostly Wikipedia, mostly non-video, are probably each potentially more instrumental than a much larger number of videos than we have now. Mike Linksvayer (talk) 04:44, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  88. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Simeon87 Rinick (talk) 04:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  89. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Give MP4 an inch and it'll take a yard. --Mikitei (talk) 04:54, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  90. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose As people are discovering with another proprietary format like the DTS audio codec, just because you want to buy a license, doesn't mean the patent holder has to sell it to you. Allowing this will give the patent holders in MP4 veto power over who is allowed to view and upload video. Software patent encumbered formats have no place in open culture. Please do not make this mistake. Do not follow the lead of the W3C with DRM. Jeremy Allison, Samba Team.
  91. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per Talk and Jeremy Allison. 1exec1 (talk) 05:11, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  92. Second choice. Being able to ingest MP4 content and then make it available in non-MP4 format would be better, but if that's not possible then let's not use it at all. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 06:53, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  93. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia needs to keep to and promote open and free standards. Promoting closed and fee based standard will be not only costly to Wikipedia, but the internet community in general. Ploxhoi (talk) 06:56, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  94. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per Seb35 --Zeitlupe (talk) 07:01, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  95. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per Kim Bruning --RussianNeuroMancer (talk) 07:56, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  96. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I don't see any benefits from supporting patent-encumbered codecs. If you want to upload a video to Commons, you should not use the raw output from your camera/phone anyway, but a properly edited version, and all free software video editors support transcoding to free codecs. And speaking of the lack of support for free codecs on mobile, this only affects people entrapped in walled gardens, so not supporting patent-encumbered codecs will give additional pressure to open them. Hweimer (talk) 08:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  97. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I must oppose any restriction to our advancement. This concept of restricting the use of ideas, popular in the USA because it means people can make a lot of money, is detrimental to our advancement in all fields. I agree with the idea that a machine can be patented for a limited time so that the development costs can be recovered (otherwise what would drive people to develop machines in the first place), but then its design should be made open (which is why we use the Latin verb) for development by everyone, and the market should decide on who is successful. This too applies to concepts and software. It is only greed that makes software algorithms patentable. BoringHusband (talk) 08:45, 17 January 2014 (UTC).
  98. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per Kim Bruning Nimdil (talk) 09:57, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  99. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia cannot support or use patent encumbered formats. --Bürgerentscheid (talk) 10:00, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  100. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Of course no. No proprietary software.--Caryptes (talk) 10:09, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  101. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose against patented formats. --valepert (talk) 10:35, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  102. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I think that Wikimedia should only support free formats. --Manech (talk) 10:44, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  103. Cedalyon (talk) 10:45, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  104. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose A free encyclopedia should be in a free format. No compromise for having more hits or video. We have to maintain a compact policy of formats to enlarge the open licenses world. --AlessioMela (talk) 11:06, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  105. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia should be free by all means RealSebix (talk) 11:09, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  106. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikimedia should be free. --Phenrysics (talk) 12:15, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  107. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I'm against the use of proprietary formats for wikimedia content, it just doesn't make sense. --Einemnet (talk) 11:16, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  108. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I am against this. If we want to keep the net free, we can't accept non-free formats. Free formats can be used by anybody, the non-frees cannot. 11:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  109. Content on Wikimedia should be in open and free formats, else there is the danger that sometime in the future certain content might only be accessible to privileged groups/persons. Enemenemu (talk) 11:41, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  110. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I am against this. Wikipedia should set a strong signal to support open source formats and reject proprietary ones. --ThorJH (talk) 11:43, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  111. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I am against this too. We cannot refrain what could bring the use for problems.
  112. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I am also against this. If we want to keep the net free, we can't accept non-free formats. Gromobir (talk) 11:48, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  113. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I am against this too. -- 12:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  114. Symbol oppose vote.svg OpposeI am against non-free formats. La tallinn (talk)
  115. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Don't cave in to non-free formats, yes to software and document freedom! Who if not WP is in the position to promote truly free knowledge. I would support (a) development or deployment of a MP4-to-Ogg Theora converter, through which potential contributors can submit their patent-encumbered vidoes to WP. Only the free format would be stored. Moreover, I would support (if really needed) a WP project to develop a mobile phone app/browser plugin to play Ogg Theora. -- Qcomp (talk) 12:30, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  116. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The Creative Commons licensing system was made popular because Wikimedia adopted and promoted it. I think this organization should continue to promote open standards. Adding support for MP4 would only continue support of a video format dynasty that needs to go away. clashers5 (talk) -- 12:40 PM, 17 Jan 2014 (UTC)
  117. Symbol oppose vote.svg OpposeI am strictly against non-free formats. t34 12:46, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  118. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose not free and so on and so on. (and yes, wikipedia is THE right place for format wars) Elvis untot (talk) 12:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  119. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose It's important that we continue to take a stand for our beliefs. --Pixelpapst (talk) 13:13, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  120. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Convenience has never been an acceptable excuse for requesting people to hand over their freedoms. --AlphaGENERIC (talk) 13:20, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  121. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose If I have the source-material if doesn’t matter in which format I convert it for upload. Supporting H264 would only make it easier to upload video that “Are free because I found it with Google”. --DaB. (talk) 13:35, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  122. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, per Gestumblindi, Rillke and DaB --Alupus (talk) 13:40, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  123. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, no thx. Alexpl (talk) 14:02, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  124. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Geni. Also because it is not in our best interest to adopt the restricted-format-of-the-month because of today's device support. Should we really roll over every time there's a novel file format? Wikimedia's lifespan is longer than those devices', and the traffic volume of Wikimedia projects gives us leverage for mainstreaming open, unencumbered formats. Ringbang (talk) 14:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  125. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, per Bawolff. Using patented file formats just sends the wrong message. Wikipedia's strong leverage should instead be used as a safeguard against non-free technologies. Ivan, 14:15, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  126. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Non-free therefore against it. --FSHL (talk) 14:25, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  127. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, Wikipedia is supposed to be a *free* encyclopedia, proprietary file formats would work against that cause. --Pc-world (talk) 14:26, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  128. Strong oppose, not for ideological but for IMO more important pragmatical reasons, which have already been touched by colleague Rillke.
    Each day thousands of files are uploaded to Commons, which immediately need to be patroled/screened 1) for potential cyber-bullying images and other human-rights-violating images of living persons, and 2) for blatant copvios. This huge burden, as is well-known, rests completely on the shoulders of unpaid volunteers.
    With photos or still images, even the thumbnail-sized overview at Special:NewFiles allows experienced recent-uploads-patrolers a first assessment of potential problem content/uploads. This is not possible with video files and audio files, which require the patroler to view or hear the file in full-length.
    So, allowing uploads in the widely used MP4 format, would sharply increase the number of video uploads (most of which will be trash anyway and just spoil our resources) and ease the undetected upload of copyright- or human-rights-violating material. --Túrelio (talk) 14:35, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  129. Strong Oppose no use-case provided that MP4 is needed, everyone with a serious web browser can play OGG/WebM. Microsoft should add support to their defective brower. 14:49, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  130. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per above, and especially per Gnosygnu, Edinwiki, Wellparp, John Vandenberg, Arnaudus, MathsPoetry, Azafata, ManuD, H-stt, Kennedy, Zertrin, Elfix, Bohwaz, Darkweasel94, Mardeg, Tuvalkin, Skalman, Maximilianklein, Kim Bruning, Simeon87, Huntster, Solstag, Jcpilman, Legoktm, Ronhjones, Krenair, VIGNERON, Seb35, Superm401, Ntsimp, Koavf,, Aibara, PAC2, R, Melikamp, Zmi007, Zedaroca, GChriss, At2000,,, Ploxhoi, Hweimer, Enemenemu, Clashers5, AlphaGENERIC, Ringbang and If the users' devices do not support free standards, that's their problem, not ours. Every Internet user can potentially view OGG files, but s/he is restricted by the soft/hard/ware s/he uses. The Wikimedia Foundation's mission is to make free knowledge available to everyone, not to destroy walls the user has built just for the users' convenience at the cost of freedom. Wikipedia and Commons can make the difference. And BTW I don't know how good would be videos made by users who don't know how to convert them into free formats: actually, most of amateur clips are junk. --Ricordisamoa 15:17, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Ricordisamoa, is it really necessary to mass-ping all people you agree with? I don't want to know how notifications would look like if everybody did that. darkweasel94 18:01, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  131. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Michael9422 (talk) 15:27, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  132. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikimedia is a project based on free and open standards - supporting a closed video codec is incompatible with these ideals. --Deathflyer (talk) 15:28, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  133. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I agree with most opposition arguments and fail to be persuaded by the supportive arguments. My own argument would be to say that the Wikipedia project is growing rapidly in influence and may be in a position to dictate its own terms about what is acceptable in file formats, rather than be perpetually positioned to follow what commercial entities pressure the community to do. I would like for Wikipedia to be able to present a free format and tell others to comply, and am not ready to give up hope that this can happen. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  134. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose as per many an objection above and, in the main, because of the bit rot which accompanied the use of containers and codecs like .mov around mpeg or RealAudio/Video. Those containers and codecs made, and still make, a horror of many websites which chose to use them as they represented the most widely accepted or supported. The horror isn't a problem for me (ffmpeg/transcoder user), but it is precisely for those users today, who can no longer find support for those containers and codecs. The only way forward is open codecs and containers. The Windows users of today have alternatives for viewing which will support the open standards. And those will prevail in the long term. And that should be our goal. --User:Mwasheim
  135. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Keep Wikimedia free from patents. --Terber (talk) 15:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  136. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikimedia is a project from the community, it should endorse community-supplied content in community-friendly packaging.
  137. Strong Oppose Opening an exception its not a solution. It would be wrong to change wikimedia principles just to allow the support of one proprietary format(even worst when there are valid alternatives). In this situation Its way better to encourage the public to change, in a way similar to the SOPA/ACTA opposition page (but not in such way), by (eg.) making unsupported browsers to display an "advertisement" on video spaces, telling how bad it is and linking to a page explaining. I believe that the world loves much more wikipedia than those greedy patent applications, and hardware makers can as well implement support if there is enough people asking for it. Just think, do you want a better present or a better future? Thats the answer. -- 15:37, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  138. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Let the patent holders put in the effort for the conversions. Why should Wikimedia create value for them? Shorespirit (talk) 15:40, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  139. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Keep Wikimedia free from patents. --Tange (talk) 16:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  140. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The WikiMedia Foundation has a huge amount of political influence. By blatantly not supporting the patent-encumbered formats, a significant market share—everything on Wikipedia—appears in only free formats. Mobile providers will want to keep up with Wikipedia as much as they want to keep up with Google: they want you to be able to use it, because everyone uses Wikipedia. Therefor, by not supporting MP4 and by supporting Vorbis, Opus, WebM, and other open formats, WikiMedia is leaning heavily on Apple and Google to provide some means to view content in these formats. That pressure is significant. Since it won't make anyone remove h.264 and other format support from their software and devices using said software, it can only produce positive change—we don't need to approach the argument that removing support for viewing patent-encumbered formats may be harmful, because it's not a thing that this action will result in. --Bluefoxicy (talk) 17:05, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  141. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Keep Wikimedia free. Wikipedia is one of the biggest influences for a better web. Supporting mobile is a terribly weak argument. What archaic phones are we trying to support? Give them a reason to support free codecs. --Atarzwell (talk) 17:08, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  142. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia can greatly influence the acceptance of free formats. If Wikipedia allows MP4, then why not allow any other patent-locked "free" format? What will happen to the really free formats then? Wikipedia is the heart and soul of free content. Keep locked patents out please. --FocalPoint (talk) 17:28, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  143. More crappy content uploaded by mobile users, and time-consuming (to review if they're ok) videos to boot? No thanks. --Rosenzweig τ 17:41, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    So this argument against meaningful video support is that it would be time consuming to review? -- Matt (talk) 17:43, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    Essentially I concur with Túrelio's arguments above. --Rosenzweig τ 17:55, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  144. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose However, the Commons can and should point people to conversion tools and off-Commons Wikimedia-hosted "one button" conversion tools. A "one button" off-Commons Wikimedia/Wikipedia-hosted tool that let you log into the Wikimedia/Wikipedia Global Login and upload an .mp4 file, convert it to a free format, and deposit it on the Commons under my login would be nice. Likewise, an off-Commons Wikimedia-hosted "one-button" playback-as-mp4 tool that took a Commons web page as input would be acceptable. Yes, converting the file each time would consume server resources and it would be a less pleasant experience for the end user, but the reality is that for free content at least, we should be strongly encouraging the use of free encoding systems. Davidwr (talk) 17:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  145. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose proprietary formats and licences, no thanks!--Biggerj1 (talk) 18:49, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  146. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose We can't accept non-free file formats in a free project; we must spread the verb of free formats instead. --Incola (talk) 19:03, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  147. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Please don't use NON-FREE formats!!!! This is a free and open project which aim's be opened for everybody. Patented technologies are NOT FREE, NOT OPEN. That is the opposite of the Wikipoedia's purpose. In addition, Wikipedia should contribute to encourage and promote the freedom, specially the freedom in the software and internet world. This means promote and support free and opened formats, software, etc.. If you use a patented format you are promoting PRIVATIVE software. In one hand you guys have the freedom, in the other hand the dependence, the slavery: You choose, but you can't mix. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Deshgloshe (Discussione • contributi) 2014-01-17T19:14:02 (UTC)
  148. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose No non-free file formats.--Cirdan (talk) 19:23, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  149. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, many important concerns were already raised above. - Hoo man (talk) 19:48, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  150. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Problem: mobile users cannot see Wikimedia videos. Obvious solution: users should install free and open source software which allows video playback. Proposed solution: pay the ransom money to the very gang that prevents the users from applying the obvious solution. This is a no go. The fact that we seem to be winning the codec war is just the icing on the cake. Melikamp (talk) 19:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  151. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Tom Dräscher (talk) 19:52, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  152. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose:I prefer free formats. --skarg (talk) 20:24, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  153. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose And next year we will use .docx instead of HTML and .ai instead of SVG? --E7 (talk) 20:40, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  154. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose [[User:pierre_gronau|pierre_gronau]] No patents please 22:18 17.January 2014 (UTC)
  155. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, specially in the wake of better open formats like VP9 and Daala. Neither manufacturers nor most consumers will see any interest in open formats if there are no use cases for them. Let Wikimedia be an exemplar one, in line with its mission of providing free, unrestricted content. The economical and technical resources required to support this non‐free format could be better used to provide users with instructions, tools and reasons for using free formats. --Mr.Unknown (talk) 21:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  156. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose — seems like we're on the cusp of this not being much of an issue anymore, and also what Superm401 said. ErikHaugen (talk) 21:39, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  157. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - none free format until patents expires in 2028.--Wdwd (talk) 22:01, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  158. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Keep Wikimedia free. --Trustable (talk) 22:17, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  159. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose No non-free file formats. --Prog (talk) 23:02, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  160. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose We should use free and open formats & codecs only. --WikiMichi (talk) 23:21, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  161. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Mi opinias, ke estus tre malsaĝa decido, se ni nun perfidus niajn bazajn principojn por eta kaj tre momenta avantaĝo: la evoluo estas tre rapida kaj ankaŭ MP4 post malmultaj monatoj estos antikvaĵo kaj estas certe nur demando de tempo, ke libera videoprogramo eĉ pli bona ol MP4 disponeblos.DidiWeidmann (talk) 23:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  162. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I think that it is a bad idea to support propritary formats. If nobody starts to support the free stuff then we will never become a free society --Txt.file (talk) 23:51, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  163. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Because the spirit of Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia from the first moment. --AlbertoDV (talk) 23:57, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  164. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose This site is dedicated to free media and free formats that are not encumbered by patents are an essential requirement. --AFBorchert (talk) 00:12, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  165. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Lex iPhone. -- Smial (talk) 00:36, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  166. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I oppose because it would be a wrong signal to all that stick to unfree formats. --Pustekuchen2014 (talk) 01:36, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  167. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose We must stand on the strength of our convictions. Haxwell (talk) 03:27, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  168. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Support of proprietary format is a very bad idea, no one can be sure that the condition of the license of use will not be changed (to ask for greater license fee or to apply greater restriction on their use)--Moroboshi (talk) 05:34, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  169. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Rippitippi (talk) 05:36, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  170. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Goldkatze (talk) 08:48, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  171. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Please do not support patented formats. Reasons:
    1. A lot of the people who have written and promoted Wikipedia over the years did so with the belief that Wikipedia is part of a general push for a free/open internet, which includes taking a stand against patented file formats. Supporting patented formats would be a betrayal of those people.
    2. The only reason anyone accepts this problem is because they think there's critical mass behind those formats. Don't contribute to that perception!
    3. If we support MP4 now, application developers are less likely to add support for free codecs since they're not necessary to view Wikipedia's videos. This means that when future codecs replace MP4 and Ogg, users and developers will expect Wikipedia to support MP4's replacement, but we won't be offered the same licence terms. We'd be setting ourselves up for a bait-and-switch.
    4. Wikipedia must use its strong position to actively help the "open web". If Wikipedia won't, what big web site will? --Gronky (en.w.o: en:Gronky) 09:04, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  172. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose No non-free file formats. --Krib (talk) 10:20, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  173. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose No patented file formats. Bad idea.--Arnaugir (talk) 11:15, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  174. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikimedia shouldn't spend its resources on supporting something that would hinder its development. MP4 could be a threat, because enterprises aren't about liberty and freedom of knowledge, but rather about profit and free advertisement. WebM has wide support and it's something we, the users, know that will never turn us down. --David de Dios (talk) 11:37, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  175. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose No non-free file formats. Andim (talk) 11:52, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  176. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia has far more to lose by compromising it's values than it does to gain. People once said things like "99% of encyclopedic content is copyright by company X, Wikipedia should partner with them!" But we can see in hindsight what a bad mistake that would have been. Sticking to its values has always been the best decision for Wikipedia, and this same old argument of compromising its values for further adoption is no more persuasive than it has ever been.--Ian Kelling (talk) 12:28, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  177. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I can't believe this is even up for discussion. Indietrash (talk) 13:22, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  178. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Me neither! Keep free content in free formats! SilkeM (talk) 13:50, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  179. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose No non free file format, no secret license stuff. Pleclown (talk) 13:54, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  180. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose No proprietary file formats in Commons/Wikipedia, please. -- Borb (talk) 13:58, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  181. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Nothing not open on Wikimedia, that’s it. --Jailbird (talk) 14:28, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  182. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose There is no need to rush or compromise here. The primary content of Wikimedia projects is plain text. But some work could be done to help readers/viewers and contributors out with software that can handle the free formats (very basic things like instructions on how to play back video clips on Mac computers, and so on). /NH (talk) 14:43, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  183. Wikimedia is about free content. That means we find a way to do it with free content, not that we just throw up our hands and give up. Ingestion and conversion would be alright if and only if no WMF money would go toward MPEG-LA for doing so, but Wikimedia should never be supporting a software patent, implicitly or otherwise. Seraphimblade (talk) 16:47, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  184. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Keep it free as in freedom Blaimi (talk) 17:05, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  185. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose As long as this format is so filled with patent issues and the like, it shouldn't be used for a project that aims to follow the ideaof being open source. --Meuhcoin (talk) 17:34, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  186. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose MP4 is not open file format, so WikiCommons does not support this format. If WikiCommons support this format, it would be a betrayal of the movement of the free content. --ComputerHotline (talk) 17:40, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  187. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Would be very sad in long future. --Dsant (talk) 18:10, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  188. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose do something else with our money. Shannen doh (talk) 19:00, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  189. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Proprietary formats have no place in a free repository of knowledge. The tools required to create and edit free video formats are freely available with none of the license restrictions associated with H264 or MP4. --DublinBen (talk) 19:01, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  190. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose not free.--Müdigkeit (talk) 19:25, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  191. Conny (talk) 21:04, 18 January 2014 (UTC).
  192. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose It is a very slippery slope when we start using non free-software. When we start using one, whats to stop us from moving to all proprietary software. Wikipedia/Wikimedia should be all free.
  193. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Principles should be more important than practical concerns, especially when the alternatives are perfectly capable! I'm particularly uninterested in problems with iPad support. Wikimedia is simply a poor fit for those users. —WOFall (talk) 23:08, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  194. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Please keep Wikimedia free from software patents. - Laurent, Yverdon-les-Bains, Suisse, 00:14, 19 January 2014
  195. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose As a leader of FREE knowledge, it should support FREE software. No MP4 on Wikipedia please. --Arkar1984 (talk) 01:35, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  196. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Daiz would laugh seeing we are this stupid jumping for .264 MP4 are we trying to become MKV then jump into .265 next time? are we forgetting something here? yeah, right we are forgetting about the user that can't watch .264. Aldnonymous (talk) 02:47, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  197. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I do not support the use of the MPEG family of codecs for many the reasons mentioned above, such as it being a non-free codec, which directly conflicts with the purpose of Wikipedia as a whole. It is not Wikipedia's fault that some browsers such as IE and Safari do not support open formats, who instead opt to only support closed formats. If Wikipedia allowed h.264 video it would give less incentive for camera manufacturers and browsers to support the open formats, thus going directly against Wikipedia's ideology, especially considering that h.264 is a lot more popular with the camera manufacturers. Nammi-namm (talk) 04:04, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  198. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia is not free if any of its content is non-free. By accepting proprietary formats, Wikipedia would cede to the patent holders a measure of unchecked control. --Jordon Kalilich (talk) 04:36, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  199. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I still remember the mess when patent holders suddenly announced Gif#Unisys_and_LZW_patent_enforcement. We really do NOT want to get dragged into that sort of legal and policy mess any time the patent holders feel like announcing a new position. Alsee (talk) 05:25, 19 January 2014 (UTC) (Self edit:) I'm upgrading to STRONG opposition. I find it particularly problematic that this proposal requires the Foundation to be bound by secret contract terms the community is forbidden to see. Hell no! Alsee (talk) 13:59, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  200. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Horsefreund (talk) 10:15, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  201. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia is by definition free as in freedom and is not responsible of the lack of support of open formats in IE. Ordiman85 (talk) 10:30, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  202. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The (coming) WebM with VP9 and Opus will be good enough at the moment. Actually they promised to stick to VP8 and Vorbis, but I accept the change as meep happens. –Be..anyone (talk) 11:54, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  203. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia should be as free as possible.--Tchoř (talk) 12:39, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  204. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Two points: first and most important, WMF should not weaken their mission to open and free content just to support widely used but closed formats. Second point is that by enforcing the use of free formats WMF could make people think about those issues. Nowadays it is quite common to use and share almost everything that could be found on the Internet without thinking about licenses and other people/companies rights on that material. I really see a review problem by simply allowing enabling everyone to upload MP4 material. Mike de (talk) 15:17, 19 January 2014 (UTC). Updated: Mike de (talk) 11:31, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  205. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Seewolf (talk) 18:00, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  206. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Keep Wikipedia free. Aldebaran (talk) 18:56, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  207. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose Keep Wikimedia free! --Phyrexian ɸ 20:34, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  208. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I'm not at ease with proprietary formats and not sure that we should compromise on 1 of the 4 "free" pillars. Erdrokan (talk) 21:29, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  209. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Stay with open formats. Spend time (and if necessary money) educating users and making it easier for them to use open standards. -- Dave Braunschweig (talk) 21:48, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  210. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Education and supporting open-source projects (hardware and software) are the two keys to solving this dilemma. Asaifm (talk) 22:09, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  211. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose No because I'm an extremist and I think there are others more important things to do, like improve the mobil version of wikipedia. It is just bad to read this Km of page. User: YK
  212. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose We are the world's sixth most popular website, we can make the rules. Let's encourage device makers to support free formats. User: circumspice Circumspice (talk) 23:38, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  213. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I would rather that the Wikimedia movement stuck with completely open formats. We are in a position to take a stand on this issue, and I think we should do exactly that. — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 00:10, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  214. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Simply no. It is not a free format. Clearly no. TraxPlayer (have a chat) 01:48, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  215. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per w:Graphics Interchange Format#Unisys and LZW patent enforcement. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:16, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  216. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose It's not worth compramising transparency and freedom. Wikipedia doesn't even need videos, anyway. -Haikon 01:39, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  217. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Thwart Google at every turn. Chris Troutman (talk) 01:50, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  218. If we can't beat them... wait, we can still beat them. ...Aurora... (talk) 02:42, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  219. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia is one of the few communities that has enough power to stand by its principles, let's not change that. Saftaplan (talk) 05:51, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  220. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Why give in to lazy software corporations hesitant in including open formats when it requires us to give up our values on creating content not subject to restrictions on creation, use, and reuse? Eventually, they will support open formats. Just wait. RBKreckel (talk) 08:03, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  221. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I think that there is no an imperious need to do so and it is important to support free and open formats that will shape the future of our technology. There are more reasons, but that should be enough for everyone. vernius (talk) 09:05, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  222. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose There is just no need to weaken our position. And, as Gestumbindli points out, I'm not sure that this step would improve the quality of our media material. --Zinnmann (talk) 09:24, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  223. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Keep Wikimedia free. But provide to community ads (images) for adding to all blogs, sites ... of contributors. We can change the usage of contributors. --Ccompagnon 09:29, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  224. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose We should urge manufacturers to implement free video codecs in their devices. --YannGoudard (talk) 10:05, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  225. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose due to patent issues. Esby (talk) 10:15, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  226. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The liberté and the Libre is a very important thing when world goes wrong we need it. Please never support. HumanG33k
  227. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose don't open the door to patent trolls :S. Sucoplus (talk) 10:28, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  228. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The mission of Wikipedia is not only learning: in many aspect, it's to spread knowledge through time. Many users of Wikipedia (contributors and simple readers) expect Wikipedia to still be here in several decades. Such thing is impossible to guarantee if using non-open solutions: their is not any certainty about the future of these solutions and no body can provide one. Even the editor can guarantee that its format will remain free in the future at any cost, what ever can happen. Wikipedia should be fully independent, because knowledge should. Choosing or not MP4 format it's not about the mission of Wikipedia of being the ambassador of open formats: it's first of all to guarantee that the project will continue in the future, what ever happens to the rest of the world Chrysander (talk) 11:16, 20 January 2014 (UTC+1)
  229. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Grünich (talk) 13:17, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  230. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I understand the intended purpose of this, but it is just wrong given the greater purpose of Wikipedia, which is to be free, with no proprietary format whatsoever. Cimoi (talk) 13:43, 20 January 2014 (UTC).
  231. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Putting free information into non-free envelope makes the whole "message" non-free. Device/software manufacturers who purposely chosen not to support open/free information media formats excluded their clients intentionally from free-information world. Wikipedia is not here to comply with this business decision that is meant primarily for information-flow control. Nor it is here to make life easier for clients who voluntarily got in this information-control scheme by buying those commercial products. --Jan Filein (talk) 14:11, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  232. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Cost is too high: Free Software must be used to spread knowledge. --Ydroneaud (talk) 14:39, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  233. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I do not wish to donate money to the Wikimedia Fundation and see a chunk of it going to patent trolls. Some browsers try hard to break FLOSS (and even include DRM), do not give into EEE again. --Renard 16:11, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  234. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose No MP4 should be supported on Wikipedia. --Ottomano 17:12, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  235. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Please keep Wikimedia free from software patents. --Legrosschmoll
  236. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Please keep Wikimedia free from software patents. I cannot express it better. Trackler (talk) 18:37, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  237. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I already have problems with Wikipedia's allowing of fair use images. Fair use adds major, in my opinion unnecessary, burdens to the people that re-use our content. Adding into the mix non-free file formats will make the situation for re-users of our content that much more burdensome. Sven Manguard Wha? 21:43, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  238. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Faidon Liambotis (WMF) (talk) 02:37, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  239. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Let's stay with the free-as-in-speech approach. No support for patent-encumbered formats (and no being fooled by free-as-in-beer patent licences). --SpecMade (talk) 03:08, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  240. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose We must stay FREE. עידן ד (talk) 09:18, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  241. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Please keep Wikimedia free from software patents. --Kcchouette (talk) 10:13, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  242. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Supporting non-free formats on Wikipedia would be a mistake and is not necessary.
    1. For uploading videos, Wikimedia could simply edit and distribute a video-converter tool based on already existing free software and available on most platforms.
    2. For reading videos, users not able to read free software videos shall be informed that they are restricted by their current software. Then in a second time given advice on how to access fully Wikipedia media :
      1. by installing free software browser like Firefox (available on almost all platforms except Apple iOS), or
      2. by installing the Wikipedia application on mobile phones (available on Apple iOS).
    3. Indeed, Wikimedia shall instead promote and support the freeing of the VP9 video codec and it becoming the next video standard for hardware materials currently supporting MP4. This position will be much stronger if all free-aware foundations (like Wikimedia, Mozilla, etc.) were joining together and making a common call to mobile devices and components manufacturers to support free video formats, and in particular the upcoming VP9.
    4. Let's not forget that no royalties are charged on AVC video format currently, and only because Google by freeing the VP8 codec represented a too great danger to paying video formats. If you support MP4 and enforce its domination, not only will you support non-free software today, but also you will deserve the current fight that should be the priority for the next standard video format to be free. Refuse MP4 and announce you will support VP9 once it will be free instead, and get others to follow you.
    5. "Killing" Adobe Flash seemed impossible a few years back, but Steve Jobs decided to get rid of this rubbish and he will eventually manage to just because he was firm on not supporting it on iOS. How could Wikimedia pretend to respect the free software spirit and not being able to be as firm than that on such a red line ?
    — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marouq (talk • contribs)
  243. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Non-free formats should not be supported by Wikipedia as this would be contraproductive and would decrease the chance to have free formats that can be used across all platforms somewhen (hopefully very soon) in the future. Releasing and advertising an *super* easy-to-use video converter that converts non-free formats into free formats (maybe integrated into something like a "Wikipedia Media Uploader") should be the perfered choise and would correspond more with the idea and the philosophy behind Wikipedia. -- Shellexecute run (talk) 11:55, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  244. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose WMF should not be Troja, stop the Trojan horse of MPEG-LA - I regularly donate to Wikimedia Germany. I'm against using my donations to pay for patent fees for patent-encumbered encoding and decoding software like that which is necessary to support MP4 video formats at the servers of WMF, even if it will be only a tiny share. Because I think, software patents hinders the evolutionary development of good software, good standards and the free distribution of knowledge. --ArchibaldWagner (talk) 16:08, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  245. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose I haven't been contributing for the last 10 years to give it all up now. Free means free in all aspects; if we can get open-source hardware I would go with it. Yet some people think it is wise to waste money resources and implant, license and ideology, time bombs. I really believe that if MP4 is approved then the current board should be all removed. --Tarawneh (talk) 16:21, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  246. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - Wikimedia Commons should only host files in free formats. MP4 is not. --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:47, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  247. Symbol oppose vote.svg pile on oppose as per too numerous to mention. russavia (talk) 18:08, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  248. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - Open file formats are good enough. There is no need to negotiate license fees for proprietary formats. - Abrev (talk) 19:19, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  249. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - We need to define what we want to be in the future. Because if we are just indiscriminate distributors of educational content aimed at reaching more people but forgetting the values ​​of free culture which is the main tool to unmonopolize cultural distribution. So, "in practice", what's the difference between us and Google? Or even better. What we teach to our community by allowing mp4 nonfree software (which, not by accident, managed to maintain its monopoly on the most popular devices) on our sites? That this practice is okay and we want to be part of it? - Raylton P. Sousa (talk) 21:21, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  250. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose — in Support of the Commons and Inclusiveness The front page of the Wikimedia Foundation says:

    The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge.

    The word free links to the Free Culture definition which states "A free cultural work is one which has no significant legal restriction on people's freedom." Right from the start, Wikimedia supported open formats exclusively. Until now.
    Certainly YouTube hosts more video than WMF, but in contrast to Wikipedia's zealous content curation, YouTube has never assumed the task of curating the video it hosts. Video curation is far more resource intensive than image or text curation. Pragmatism seems to be the justification for this proposed policy change which would rock the very foundations of the WMF. But where does pragmatism end? Wikimedia policy currently requires uploaded content to be available under fair use or licensed to share. Without such a policy more written and image contributions would surely have been made to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, yet no one has suggested doing away with this free culture commitment. At least not yet. If this change is made, WMF undertakes to host all non free video in free formats... how long before pragmatism dispenses with this expensive requirement?
    While FLOSS formats are open to anyone, closed digital formats like Mp4 actively enforce exclusivity with DRM. The tipping point for me was the realization copyright lobbyists are pushing through laws supporting DRM around the world, sometimes under the guise of secret trade agreements like ACTA and TPP. In Canada today a direct result of the copyright lobby it is illegal to circumvent DRM. The very existance of DRM poses significant legal restriction on people's freedom. Our new Copyright Law made it illegal for Canadians to circumvent any DRM on media or devices we legally own for any reason, even when DRM prevents us from accessing content we are otherwise be legally entitled to access —
    • works we have paid for, or
    • works we ourselves have created, or
    • works that have been licensed to share, or
    • works we should be able to legally access through fair use or fair dealing exemptions to copyright law, or
    • works that are in the public domain.
    At the beginning of this discussion, it is clear the original license agreement MPEG LA offered Wikimedia required license fees. But MPEG LA removed that objection by waiving even nominal fees. Why? MPEG LA tells us:

    Our goal is to provide a service that brings all parties together so that technical innovations can be made widely available at a reasonable price. Utilizing our collaborative approach, we help make markets for intellectual property that maximize profits for intellectual property owners and make utilization of intellectual property affordable for manufacturers, consumers and other users.

    Clearly MPEG LA exists to profit from patents and permission culture. I can imagine only a single reason why MPEG LA would extend this "generous offer" — which is the same reason I strongly oppose its acceptance — it is a trojan horse.
    If WMF supports the locked down Mp4 video format it will make it harder for free software (and free culture) to survive. Laurelrusswurm (talk) 02:30, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

  251. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Commons is only for open file formats. Bye, --Elisardojm (talk) 18:15, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  252. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Free flow needs free/libre creation of digital environments including the representation of the video, and Wikipedia projects have shown this. Our DNA is based on the principles of freedom to modify, improve and adapt tools to the needs of our communities, and that is not possible with proprietary codecs and containers. --Nvjacobo (talk) 20:18, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  253. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Apart from ideology (much has been said about that already and I mostly agree to those who fly the FLOSS flag), I'm actually pretty pleased with the fact that Theora and WebM act as a barrier that forces people to put some effort into it instead of simply hitting the upload button. Imagine, what would happen if we allowed mp3 for audio files: we'd be completely swamped. We already are barely able to detect all the copyright violations among the picture uploads and I've got the feeling that enabling mobile uploads made things worse. For pictures we have at least tools like Tineye or Google's image search available … --El Grafo (talk) 20:50, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  254. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose How to get and protect free and open file formats if even Wikipedia would switch to industry owned file formats? Travus (talk) 21:08, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  255. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Free knowledge requires completly free formats. Fale (talk) 22:06, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  256. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Gvf (talk) 22:15, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  257. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Reasons are clear above --Ranjithsiji (talk) 04:02, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  258. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I'm opposed to MP4 support in Wikimedia projects. 1) I expect Wikimedia to be a Free-As-In-Freedom champion. That means eschewing proprietary data formats. 2) I have no trouble accessing FAIF video formats. Everyone is free to make their own software and hardware choices; it is easy to choose SW and HW that will play Free video formats. 3) It is true that there exists more MP4 video content than FAIF video content. Once the MP4 camel has its nose in the door, the small amount of FAIF content won't be worth the effort to maintain. As soon as the Wikimedia Foundation needs to cut costs, the low-use FAIF content will be the first to go. Then everyone will be forced to purchase non-FAIF software to participate. 4) Does Wikimedia have the capacity to store video in both MP4 and FAIF formats? Won't that be expensive? Bob Jonkman (talk) 05:21, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  259. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Regardless of the convenience of using proprietary file formats, Wikipedia needs to hold to its values of being a free and open encyclopedia, and stick with our policy of only using free and open formats. Wikipedia is one of the most powerful examples of the benefits of free and open collaboration on the Internet. We should continue to send that message: we are successful because we are completely free and open in everything we do, from the free/open Mediawiki software, to the free/open collaboration on articles, to free/open file formats. Developers will soon come around and start supporting free formats, especially if highly-trafficked sites like Wikipedia continue to demand that they be supported. Instead of giving in, we should force users to tell their browser developers "Why the hell can't I play videos on Wikipedia? Make your shitty browser work!" ... Soon, they will give in and support the open formats, because Wikipedia is far too popular for them not to. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 09:14, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  260. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Several reasons: First, WikiMedia should not risk receiving any patent claims or summoning patent claims to readers and (more important) authors. Second, Wikimedia should advocate for Free codecs and Free software. It is easy enough to install media players & browsers that work better than "standard" (WMP & IE) ones. --Lumag Lumag (talk) 09:18, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  261. slight Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose; direct benefits should be weighed against long-term risks and indirect drawbacks - which are considerable. No guarantee exists that patent owners won't start charging a lot more some time in the future (maybe the current owner can promise, but it's common for intellectual property to change owners). Not to mention the principle - reuse and modification would cease to be really free. — Yerpo Eh? 10:56, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  262. I think the upload feature should be able to convert any format (including MP4) into open codecs, for the reasons I argued above. In case that isn't deemed viable, this is the only other option I'd support. --Waldir talk 15:33, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  263. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose mainly per @Fae and @Solstag. If donor funds (in the form of fees or WMF staff time) are to be applied to fixing video-related problems -- something I strongly support -- there are many better, and more mission-compatible, ways to go about it. -Pete F (talk) 17:31, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  264. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Now is not the time to give up on free video formats. Now is the time to persevere and use WikiMedia's size and scope to encourage hardware manufacturers' support for WebM and Theora Grunzh 15:18, 23 January 2014 (US CST).
  265. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose because there are other alternatives and I don't think it will last long. IMHO, we must to change (usability should be the target), but this is not the right way. --Umberto NURS (msg) 23:58, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  266. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per Jrtayloriv. Okki (talk) 04:33, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  267. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose The Wikimedia Foundation signing any contract that users and donors are not allowed to read would be very bad. Supporting proprietary formats by providing content in them when libre alternatives exist and adding a dependency on proprietary software would be bad. --Covracer (talk) 12:30, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  268. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose La wikipedia sinteno pri .doc estu ankaŭ pri mp4
  269. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per h-stt --Steinsplitter (talk) 13:50, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  270. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose How bad would it be if the Wikimedia Foundation were to start agreeing to contracts it is not authorized to disclose to Wikimedians? Why bother giving time to Wikipedia if we do not have our say anymore on it (and how could one have his say on something he cannot know?)? How can we even contemplate to sacrifice something so vital and inherent to Wikipedia, to some short-term necessity that will vanish on its own as VP9 make its way into all devices?--Julien Demade (talk) 14:27, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  271. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose Using proprietary formats is not an incentive for producers to do the same GianoM (talk) 15:42, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  272. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose We must keep Wikipedia free--Dr Zimbu (talk) 17:41, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  273. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong opposeWilliam Moreno I am Fedora Linux user. I have OGG full support in my OS, MP4 has not full support in Fedora and many others Linux based OS, propietary formats need aditional codecs availables third parties repos, I vote to keep free knowledge in Open Fortmats in Wikipedia
  274. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Allowing encumbered formats within Wikimedia is simply unacceptable. No caveats (i.e., partial MP4 support) can excuse allowing MP4 on Commons. --Cgtdk 18:53, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  275. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia is about "free" content, everything is already said --Neozoon (talk) 23:08, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  276. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose per everyone above Elfalem (talk) 11:11, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  277. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Michael F. Schönitzer 14:23, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  278. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The main point about Wikimedia is to support, promote, produce and offer Free Knowledge. Using proprietary formats is in strong contrast to this mission. As Jimmy Wales says: "If we offer information in a proprietary or patent-encumbered format, then we are not just violating our own commitment to freedom, we are forcing others who want to use our allegedly free knowledge to themselves use proprietary software." Read more about why "Free Knowledge requires Free Software and Free File Formats" in Jimmy's blog entry. --Dreirik (talk) 19:32, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  279. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Jensibua (talk) 20:59, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  280. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Free content needs free software and free formats --larjona (talk) 22:38, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  281. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia is a heavy-weight in the web. If our content is not viewable on some Pads or Phones, users will be angry at the device manufacturer, not at us. And the manufacturers will react to that. We can be the head of the herd and should not follow others. --El bes (talk) 01:24, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  282. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose 'nuff said --Stefan64 (talk) 02:22, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  283. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --ElRaki (talk) 08:43, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  284. Strikt dagegen Keine proprietären Formate in einer freien Enzyklopädie. --Mogelzahn (talk) 12:31, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  285. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Between easy and free I do choose Freedom! Supporting patents we are fighting against free formats. --Colegota (talk) 13:42, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  286. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Kim Bruning. Jmvkrecords Intra Talk 21:20, 26 January 2014 (UTC).
  287. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose MP4 is non free file format--shizhao (talk) 02:17, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  288. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Minihaa (talk) 09:05, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  289. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Wikipedia is a chance to FOSS, please don't let it go away. --Olivattaque (talk) 14:03, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  290. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Free content in locked formats is not good.--Trockennasenaffe (talk) 14:20, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  291. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - waste of money and threat to open source.--عبد المؤمن (talk) 00:34, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
  292. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Port(u*o)s (talk) 22:20, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
  293. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose I oppose this on Ideological grounds, cost grounds, slippery slope grounds, right to fork grounds, transparency grounds, and unique position grounds. Wikimedia's mission is to provide people with free knowledge. From an ideological standpoint, we can't be providing free knowledge unless it is in a free format, a format unencumbered by patents and other proprietary things. On the note of cost, while I didn't fact check it, someone up above had mentioned that the cost of the MPEG4 codec might be rising in 2016. Given that the agreement is secret I'm not sure what we'd be paying for it now, but I certainly wouldn't want it to increase as well. The cost objection is a weak objection. I do very much see this proposal as a slippery slope and object to it on those grounds. Up until this point Wikimedia projects have used free formats to store all of their information, at least to the extent of my knowledge. I don't want to see us make an exception for video as I suspect that this will be used as a reason to make further exceptions down the line. This slippery slope could have major implications in the future, and while certainly slippery slopes are not a certain thing, and can be avoided, this is not a risk I feel comfortable taking. The fact that the agreement, and the infrastructure that would be required to implement it, would not be available to the community as a whole, I have objections to this proposal on the grounds of the right to fork. Something that I have always enjoyed about the Wikimedia community is that if we as a community ever decide that we want to replace the Wikimedia Foundation, we can. This is something not a whole lot of places can say, and even more unique given that Wikimedia websites are some of the most visited on the web. Its very important I think to protect that ability to fork the project, and having infrastructure that is not available for community inspection implemented by non-free agreements makes the project impossible to fork, at least not in its entirety. Last, but not least, I object to this proposal on transparency grounds. One of my favourite things about the Wikimedia Foundation is just how truly transparent they are as an organisation. They are, by far, the most transparent non-profit I have ever seen. This transparency is a big reason why I love the foundation as much as I do. It allows me to feel as though I'm part of it. It shows me that we are all on the same team here. This agreement, being secret as it is, and having wide implications, as it does, does not meet my needs for transparency in the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia is also, as mentioned in the introduction to the proposal, in a unique position to catapult these free video codecs forward. By sticking to our guns when it comes to the free video codec, we will force other software vendors to include and support these codecs if they want to make use of video on Wikimedia properties. Given that Wikimedia properties happen to include some of the most popular websites, we are in a unique position to force vendors to support free codecs. Adding support for a non-free codec damages this position. With all of that in mind. I very strongly oppose this proposal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zellfaze (talk • contribs)
  294. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose The only fix for this is to use a free and unencumbered format such as M-JPEG (see below), and buying cameras that do not require the user to purchase a separate MPEG LA licence to convert their videos to free formats. (Note that I do not consider Vorbis/Theora or WebM free enough, either, and suggest that every video be made available as M-JPEG[1] always; other formats as an option.) Mirabilos (talk) 17:50, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
    Ugh. "Buy cameras". I can't even. You are not helping your case by telling people that the solution to equipment that doesn't support exotic file formats is to just buy new equipment (if it even exists). There are people who don't want to (or cannot afford to) buy new specialty cameras for this. If I can't view video content on my iPhone don't tell me to buy a different phone.
    To clarify—I am not talking about users with 4-year old phones or 8-year old cameras, or users in third-world countries (though it is important to keep them in consideration). I have a 5S and wikimedia video still doesn't play on it. It is understandable if ancient hardware isn't supported but it is downright silly that the only reason I can't view video content here on the latest and best available technology is some purist philosophical arguement.—Love, Kelvinsong talk 18:32, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
    I find it downright silly that “the latest and best available technology” won’t play anything but a particular patent-encumbered format! Aibara (talk) 01:38, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    Then ig that really says something about the state of free formats.—Love, Kelvinsong talk 15:25, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    No, it only says how silly is this company, on which so-called "lastest technology" you can't watch videos in a free format. Free formats are not availble on Apple technology, not because they are inferior, but because they do not fit their business plan. Yann (talk) 16:14, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    In fairness since chapters have started to buy equipment to lend to volunteers it is probably worth providing them with documentation on codec support.Geni (talk) 17:49, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  295. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Nixdorf (talk) 18:25, 29 January 2014 (UTC) -- I am against.
  296. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose--لا روسا (talk) 06:45, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  297. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose the use of closed format files. Even the UK goverment is changing to ODF so there is a clear move to open formats. (talk) 11:53, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  298. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Absolutely not, and IMO it's absurd this question is even up for consideration. mp4 & acc are a proprietary codecs! Their inclusion in MediaWiki would be a fundamental violation of the principles (of free software and free knowledge) that the WMF has worked so hard to establish this past decade. -FASTILY 10:27, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    To comment on a technicality - This wouldn't be included in MediaWiki core - it would be an extension, which in turn calls an external program (probably avconv compiled with libx264). MediaWiki is used by a lot of people outside of Wikimedia, and we let them do pretty much whatever they want with it, even when we disagree with their use, so its perfectly legitimate for someone to create an extension that integrates mp4 into MediaWiki. The question at hand is if using such an extension would violate our principles. Bawolff (talk) 03:34, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
  299. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose -- Pretobras (talk) 14:37, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  300. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per Fastily. --Wiki13 talk 18:25, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  301. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Fredlyfish4 (talk) 19:36, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
  302. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Even the fact I like Diary Of An x264 Developer blog :) −ebraminiotalk 23:56, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
  303. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose It sure would be nice to enable watching Wikipedia/ Commons videos on iPhone/iPad, but not at that cost. Secret licence agreements, turning our back on free video file format support, and all that to have another "selfie-pocalypse" (now in videos, even harder to patrol/review!)? No. --Atlasowa (talk) 20:43, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
  304. Oppose --DS-fax 20:08, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
  305. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Robert.Baruch (talk) 04:34, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
  306. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The WMF plays an important role in keeping the pressure up for free standards. If we eliminate that pressure by adopted MP4, it seriously undermines the push for free video formats. Jason Quinn (talk) 23:43, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
  307. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose per encouraging support for free formats (consider the large mass of content on Wikimedia Commons and the prominence of Wikipedia.) It is already the case where MP3 audio is not accepted on Commons, even though support for MP3 is way more prevalent than support for Ogg Vorbis audio (think "MP3 player" vs "digital audio player.") In addition, preserving freedom for recipients of content may mean reducing the size of the audience that can easily receive the content. For example, licensing content under a Creative Commons license with a ShareAlike provision as opposed to dedicating content to the public domain has the effect where the content and improved versions will be permissively licensed for recipients. At the same time, the Creative Commons licenses disallow the application of technological restrictions (i.e. DRM) even though there are notable distribution channels that require DRM. Providing content in formats that are not controlled by private parties is advantageous even if it means that certain popular devices cannot easily receive the content. --Gazebo (talk) 01:18, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
  308. Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose At a time when browsers with free format support handle most of internet traffic and free operating systems (and, with them, the potential for wide use of free formats) have taken over the future of internet surfing (i.e. mobile devices) and are starting to become significant players in territories perviously unheard of (e.g. gaming), the adoption of a proprietay format by means of a secret license by a major FOSS/free content brand like the Wikimedia projects would be a giant's leap backwards by all aspects. It indeed is a sad thing that people pay hundreds of dollars to buy devices that won't do or won't let them do things that other users enjoy freely and for free. However, the size the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects have grown, we have more options than giving up on free formats, even partially or temporarily. How about putting pressure on this one hardware and OS manufacturer for open format support. Or cooperating with other institutions for the production of free editing and rendering tools for free formats, even lightweight and basic if we dont't want to foray into the (admittedly) swampland of multimedia tools development. Or how about organising and coordinating our own productions of educational/demonstrational videos Which by the way would be better than hundreds and hundreds of hours of videos of kittens on the backs of the wikimedia admins and users. There are so many things we can do using thriving open formats. Let's not let go - Badseed talk 06:52, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
  309. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose for lack of strategy on how to achieve wider adoption of open formats, as per Mike Linksvayer. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 09:55, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Other proposals

If you have other proposed solutions, please describe them briefly in separate sub-sections here, so others can review them -- and support them if they wish.

The real conversation is about Wikimedia culture

The real issue here is not technical, and so I see this RFC as pointless. The real RFC should be: do we want to change the entire culture of the Wikimedia ecosystem to be video centric and not text centric? The success of the Foundation has arguably been due to its focus on text, and making it easy to upload video is going to represent a HUGE cultural and content shift. Isn't that what we should be talking about?! --Alterego (talk) 01:43, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

It's not massively hard, and as a multimedia (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS) portal, making it easier is a good thing. Wikimedia should in no way try to replicate the Internet Archive's growing audio and video archives - but video is definitely useful on Wikipedia articles at a minimum. The ability to support the dominant (and most widely viewable) formats would improve Wikimedia, not detract. Do I think every single Wikipedia page should have a 1080p video of someone reading the article with PowerPoint slideshow playing along side? Of course not. As it stands now, the videos are generally good additions. Making that more accessible (to the majority of web users out there who do *NOT* use open-format-capable web browsers - IE users and Safari Mobile users, still the dominant platforms on PCs and mobile devices, respectively, in terms of web traffic share,) is a good thing.
But you are correct, this is about Wikimedia culture. Do we want WIkimedia culture to be primarily targeted at the "tech elite" who are firmly in favor of openness, or do we want the culture to be targeted at the population of the world as a whole?
I am in favor of Wikimedia being targeted at the population of the world as a whole - which means more openness. And not "free as in speech" openness, but "more accessible to everyone" openness. When that can be done via free and open means, great, when not... Well, it's better than snubbing them.
Ehurtley (talk) 09:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC) (A long time Wikipedia user, occasional editor - who stopped bothering because of the tech elite culture vibe that has long permeated Wikimedia behind the scenes.

H.264 Baseline only

This seems an obvious compromise that hasn't been suggested yet.

H.264 baseline profile was originally promised to be royalty free by MPEG. Apple and others attempted to have it made royalty free during the debate over HTML5 videos. They're trying again with MPEG right now under the name WVC (web video codec). Even if they fail I believe the patents will expire very slightly sooner than the full codec.

It has lower requirements and so can be played on more devices and low-end PCs, which fits with the argument for using it.

Obviously ingest would accept the full codec (and prefer free formats) but for viewing could be transcoded to baseline.

Full support for a limited known period

  1. I see that the support for the MP4 file format should be temporary and for a known period. In the meantime, the foundation and the tech-savvy community should pave a better infrastructure and medium for the support of open-source video editing and conversion tools. This could be done by supporting existing projects such as Blender and Avidemux; and may be push for having them ported to the mobile platform by any means possible. It is stated in the support section that education comes over open-source support, but many educational and academic organizations run on tight budgets and resolve many budget considerations by moving form proprietary to open-source software. In addition, the EU has a strong open-source movement for a myriad of reasons and I see that all of these factors should be utilized to facilitate the support of open formats. Asaifm (talk) 09:40, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

A global video converter ?

What about a converter for any file format towards lightest (“.flv”, I believe) which would be available on the main 3 OS? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs)

  • i would support having a tool on labs where you upload a video (in any format) it gets converted on labs and then uploaded with oAuth. Bawolff (talk) 16:38, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    • If you want that to be able to import MP4-family file formats, that'd require getting the same MPEG-LA patent license as would be required to do it on WMF's existing media transcode servers. --brion (talk) 17:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
      • It's a compromise I could live with (hence my first preference being the "ingest" option, above); it would make contribution easy from a phone, and wouldn't endanger reusers. @Bawolff: you want to add "second option" on ingestion? - David Gerard (talk) 17:17, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
        • Yes, its a compromise, that allows segregating the patent code to be "unofficial", maintaining moral purity of the official site. I Guess there's actually 3 possible ingest only options - Ingest in the same way we ingest DjVu: The file gets stored on the server and can be retrieved, but 99% of the time people only look at the "thumbnails" (aka "transcodes") which are in a different format; Convert on ingest: Someone uploads, it gets converted, when they go to the file page its File:MyFile.webm, and there is no indication that they ever uploaded an mp4 in the first place, and a third option of having the converter off-site (Either tool labs, or totally off Wikimedia infrastructure) where people can upload a video, and it gets converted in a place totally far away from our real site. Bawolff (talk) 20:35, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I would prefer having better support for a third-party desktop solution that was not hosted on WMF infrastructure at all, and pointing to that. Whether "support" means throwing community weight behind it, or proposing a grant to a third party, I'm not sure, but I don't think hosting a conversion tool on WMF servers is the solution here, because it basically presents the same issues as accepting MP4 uploads outright. --MarkTraceur (talk) 17:29, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    • I agree! Videos are media formats that are resource hungry. And the user who is uploading videos would need to make sure that the quality of their uploaded video is not compromised by online conversion. Asaifm (talk) 20:07, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't know about the legalities and technicalities of this but I would like it to be easier to upload free file format videos to Commons, some kind of converter tool would be the ideal solution, even if it meant havong to suffer a loss of quality Oxyman (talk) 23:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • We have built, supported and integrated as easy as possible video converters. for example was built and integreated with the upload wizard at one point. There many external services and possible toolchains for video conversion ( youtube converts to webm for example ) , but the whole point is that it ~has~ to be as seamless as possible, not that "in theory someone could figure it out". Not to mention, distributing or promoting client side encoders that in all likelihood don't pay royalties is much more of a violation of royalty bearing properties of h.264 then just encoding it server side in the first place. Almost all the free tools for decode h.264 and encode webm don't pay royalties and therefore putting users in technical violation of h.264 licenses. Instead WMF could be a responsible institution and managing legal workflows for interoperability with the formats that everyones devices uses and can legally upload. -- Mdale (talk) 15:09, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
    • For me, the best way to get more videos in commons is that the uploader automatically converts the video from MP4 (the most used by, for instance, mobile phones) into .ogg or any other free alternative. If the android to commons oficial tool did automatically that conversion (and even better, resizing if the file has more than 100mb) I believe that more people would upload files. Fort instance, I have useful video files in my phone but I have to upload them slowly because I need a lot of time send to computer, then to firefogg and for last, uploading). If the uploading tool automatically converted video, everything would be more easy.--Coentor (talk) 12:38, 5 February 2014 (UTC)


  1. I propose that w:MPEG-1 be added as a supported format. It works on Safari on OSX out of the box, Microsoft Windows and OSX support it out of the box, most major video editors support it, and for many parts of the world it is patent free, because the standard came out in 1993, which is over 20 years ago. In the US, I believe it becomes patent free next year in 2015 when the last MP3 (MPEG-1 layer 3 audio) patents expire. I would propose that it be allowed as an uploading format, and that it be provided as a extra option for viewing. Since it is less efficient than Theora and Webm, possibly downloads should be transcoded to smaller height and width sizes to decrease extra bandwidth. Jrincayc (talk) 03:07, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
While I think supporting the more modern formats is best - this is a good option, as well. OS X and Windows both support it out of the box - although it does miss on iOS and Windows Mobile (for which MP4 is the best option.) Ehurtley (talk) 09:16, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
This does not address the contribution problem. --Dschwen (talk) 22:03, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support If it's true MPEG-1 is patent-free (or will be soon), I agree we should consider this when this it's confirmed. With HTML5, we can put the best available open and royalty-free standard (e.g. WebM) first, then let it fallback to alternates like MPEG-1. Superm401 - Talk 21:30, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  2. (If that's true) I don't know if MPEG-1 is better than MP4 for the users of limited web browsers and smartphones, but I think there is some (how much) old content in MPEG-1 that could benefit from not having been converted additionally. As for audio, I think some organization or website suggested using MPEG-1 layer 2 for it (apparently its patents have expired). So:
  1. Is it free?
  2. Is it useful for viewing?
  3. Is it useful for contributing?
  4. In what container formats can be it used (we've had wrong data put in an Ogg container; see also Commons:MIME type statistics/Unusual types)?
--AVRS (talk) 21:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  1. Is it free? Good question, it came out in 1993 (with a public near complete draft in 1991) so for countries where there is a hard deadline after prior art of 20 years, it is free. For the US, there was no such limit at the time, so there are still patents on MPEG-1 layer 3 audio, and there might be patents on the rest. If the patents are only on MPEG-1 layer 3 audio, then MPEG-1 layer 2 audio could be used instead.
  2. Is it useful for viewing? Yes, it is supported out of the box on OSX Safari. However, it does not solve the IOS problem, but since Apple already supports MPEG-1 on OSX, they might be more willing to support MPEG-1 on IOS than Theora or Webm.
  3. Is it useful for contributing? Good question, older software supported MPEG-1, but newer software that I see that supports MPEG-1 seems to already either support Webm or Theora or not support MPEG-1 as well.
  4. In what container formats can it be used? It can be used in the MPEG-1 container format, described in ISO 11172-1. Jrincayc (talk) 14:13, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose MPEG-1 is hoplesly outdated. It has poor compression, does not support HD and no camera younger then 10 years supports it. Edokter (talk) — 13:43, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I am talking mostly about viewing. If mobile users want to spare battery so much they can't view WebM, non-HD video should be enough for them. --AVRS (talk) 14:04, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Edokter, I agree with you on the poor compression. While MPEG-1 contrained parameters (ISO 11172-2 1993 0.1.1) are 768x576, those are not a requirement of the spec, and the sequence header (ISO 11172-2 1993 allows horizontal_size and vertical_size to be up to 4092, so things like 4k ultra high definition television (3840 x 2160) would be possible in MPEG-1 video. (If there is some other constraint on HD, please explain further.) As for compression size, my opinion is that we could just aim for having the same size files as Theora or VP8, either by lowering the quality or by lowering the resolution, and it will generally be usable, but either the resolution will be decreased or the compression artifacts will be more visible than in the Theora or VP8 file. Jrincayc (talk) 14:13, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  1. I'm not sure if it's technically viable. Using MPEG-1 might consume too much disk space to be affordable. There needs to be a reasonably good compression/quality ratio. 09:42, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
    I do not think that disk space is an issue nowadays. Adding additional disk space should never be a problem for the WMF, it seems to me. I assume that the cost of disk space compared to other expenses is negligible. If MPEG-1 is useful for viewing as a widely supported, though outdated format, and if it's really free by 2015, I don't see why we shouldn't add it as a viewing option in 2015. Gestumblindi (talk) 17:54, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Motion JPEG and other free formats upload

Wikimedia should allow uploading in pretty much any free format (such as the ones that gstreamer good plugins support ) that can be transcoded into ogg theora or webm. This would include motion jpeg, which some cameras (such as for example ) support. Motion JPEG is very poor so far as compression goes, so it shouldn't be served for download, but we should at least make it easier for people to upload other free formats besides Ogg and Webm. Jrincayc (talk) 13:25, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

+1 -Pete F (talk) 17:35, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
+1 see also [1] Mirabilos (talk) 17:40, 29 January 2014 (UTC)


VP9 might be around the corner and the demise of MP4 might be too. To me this whole thing is about going with the times on video. For most people video equals either Youtube, streaming or shaky phone videos they recorded themselves. A (limited) WMF Youtube presence could ensure quantity (user base) as well as quality content (like/dislike and suggestions for improvement) is submitted to wikipedia. Seeing 'wikipedia has shared a video' would much more likely prompt me to contribute some time then maybe seeing a 'would you like to review a video' while looking something up would. To preserve the WMF no-ad policy the ad proceeds could go to another FOSS project if ads can't be disabled altogether and if a WMF channel is even needed. All significant OS's would be supported through either an app or a browser. --nachtkap 3:00, 17 January 2014

IIRC, Youtube has a VP9-only policy for 4k video posts. Given this might encourage takeup of VP9 codecs, at least meaning that all browsers and content providers suddenly have a real reason to support the codec, WMF might be better advised to pursue this direction instead of h264 and the controversy surrounding it.

If Wikimedia would support MP4, there are other changes that would be appropriate:

As others pointed out, Wikimedia adopting MP4 is a huge marketing for MPEG-LA, probably the best marketing possible for them. Doing so is not neutral and is more on the interest of MPEG-LA than on the interest of Wiki users. If Wikimedia decides to support companies or products (like encodings), it should:
1. Change its founding principles. To provide for free content in locked formats is not to provide free content;
2. Warn users that the founding principles might change before receiving their donations or contributions;
3. Change its financing strategy. It makes no sense to promote patented things for free. To provide for free content while advertising is the business model of Google (for example) and it is a successful business model. But it would be immoral to continue asking users for donations while marketing for products or companies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zedaroca (talk • contribs)

Wikimedia video is disabled for mobile even though they CAN use it. Change that first.

Viewing this page on mobile firefox, the video on this page has been completely replaced by a still image. My device can play the video. Every smart phone user has the ability to download a video file and share it from their device. Yet the Wikimedia software has completely disabed my access to the video. If mobile video is important, hiding its existence from mobile users should be changed long before using patent encumbered formats. --Ian Kelling (talk) 14:24, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

I've no ogg-incompatible devices, so I haven't seen what you see, but does MediaWiki at least tell you that there is a video? And does it inform you of free software browsers which can display it (I know, ironic, given that your browser would be in that list)? Or how to download a free software codec or whatever to make your browser capable? If not, then that should be done too. Gronky (talk) 12:51, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
If the caption did not mention that it was a video, there would be no indication that it was a video at all. I agree with you. --Ian Kelling (talk) 12:00, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
It used to work just fine; changes to TimedMediaHandler might have changed that. --brion (talk) 21:15, 21 January 2014 (UTC)


Do you have comments or questions about this RFC? If so, we invite you to add new topics below. We'd love to hear from you!

Be sure to sign all your comments and/or responses below. Please remain civil and respectful of participants with views other than your own.

For comments tangentially related to this RFC, please participate on this discussion page.

Comment 1 - Commercial usage

Will the videos encoded in the MP4 format still be available for commercial usage? And will we have to have another RFC in 2016 if/when they start charging fees about considering ditching the format again? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 02:59, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

From my understanding, use of MP4 would only be for use/sharing from hosting based on Wikimedia. It would not be for download or commercial re-use. Those files would be concurrently available in OGG or WebM for such use. This would be simply for uploading or viewing; the Wikimedia Foundation would develop the resources to provide OGG and/or WebM file with the upload of an MP4 format video to fulfill commercial re-use under CC-BY-SA. Fabrice, correct? Keegan (WMF) (talk) 08:02, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Hello TeleComNasSprVen, thanks for your questions. Redistribution of videos encoded in the MP4 format on our sites would be subject to the license terms specified by their authors/uploaders -- typically CC-BY-SA-3.0, which authorizes commercial use (previous wording was incorrect: would make commercial usage unlikely in most cases - see clarification below). I hope this answers your first question. Regarding your second question, in the event that MPEG-LA were to start charging fees in 2016, the foundation would review proposed terms to determine whether or not another RFC is required: if the fees were very low and overall terms remained the same, another RFC may not be necessary. But we would certainly update the community on our findings through regular channels in any case. Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 09:05, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
@Fabrice Florin "subject to the license terms specified by their authors" ... "CC-BY-SA-3.0" ... "would make commercial usage unlikely" euh.. Are you saying that our material is not used for commercial usage ? I hope you added a word too many here. TheDJ (talk) 09:36, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi TheDJ, good catch! After checking this with our legal counsel, I can now confirm that commercial usage of MP4 files is indeed authorized under the terms of CC-BY-SA. To avoid any confusion, I have corrected my statement above and struck out my incorrect wording. Sorry about this. Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 21:34, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
FYI Commercial entities object to the CC by-sa license because any reuse/remix must also be released under a CC by-sa license. (ie if Disney wanted to make a movie of the novel I release under a CC by-sa license, Disney would have to release its movie under a CC by-sa license. Never happen.) Laurelrusswurm (talk) 07:32, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Comment 2

It's already looking as if this might pass and in that case, I'd like to see a promise by the Foundation that it would with immediate effect pull all support for MP4 file format, in the case where users of the file format are ever sued by MPEG-LA for a usage that would be within our definition of Free and open (re)usage for material that is licensed in the spirit of CC-by-sa-3 (so not including non-free material). So basically a community contract that (regardless of what any contract with them) would express that if MPEG-LA comes after anyone (in the world) for a type of usage that is explicitly permitted by OUR license, we stop using mp4. Thereby effectively we say that we can only support them as long as MPEG-LA treats other users in the same way as us (no matter if they have a contract or not). So if a commercial company downloads an original mp4 version CC-BY-SA-3.0 licensed video from a video website and uses it in a commercial movie and gets sued, then it's EOL of our usage of mp4. Regardless of wether that site was commons or the next vimeo. "We recognize that you have granted us the license, but if you deny anyone else the same rights (contract or not), we can no longer use it." And that point that Geni points out should also somehow be covered in case we allow uploading in mp4. "The Foundation does not recognize patent based limitations on content trough the actions of production, (re)usage, distribution and sale." (we would only recognize the patents on the process of encoding and decoding basically: in my opinion already going way too far). TheDJ (talk) 10:19, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Comment 3 - ethical changes require significant consensus

I would be extremely uncomfortable if this RFC, which potentially undermines a fundamental principle and ethical value of Wikimedia Commons, were to be closed with the presumption that a simple majority for one out of several options given was sufficient evidence of consensus. I note that this RFC has been structured in such a way as to diffuse votes against the proposal into multiple options, I believe a more coherent RFC would have been "Do we make this change to our supported formats policy or not?"

I propose that this RFC is only considered successful if a meaningful super-majority, when compared to the total number of all votes cast, were to be reached. In line with the ratios we use for other votes (such as when supporting the appointment of new administrators), I recommend we apply a consensus at 75% of all votes for an option to change the status quo to be considered adequately supported. -- (talk) 13:25, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

The structure of this RFC is exceedingly problematic, as are the attempts from proponents of the motion to enforce the problematic structure - David Gerard (talk) 15:37, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Agree with Fae & David. It might be worthwhile to see a discussion more directly focused on the "upload only" variant. This option seems worthwhile, but perhaps complex in both implementation and implications. Right now I think it's not getting so much attention, because the main proposal is so controversial. -Pete F (talk) 17:41, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Comment 4

Wikimedia have a major position in this sector! So he can force people to go through to open format for video After, constructors will put open format in technicals objects, its a dynamic!! people will do effort to download plugins to read video!!

Ready availability of conversion tools

It seems silly to raise this question in the context of multiple readily available conversion tools which, as far as I can understand, don't involve quality loss. Gryllida (talk) 12:03, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that's not the case - unlike audio, as far as I know almost no-one anywhere uses lossless video at all, and all conversions go from a lossy format to another lossy format. Some lossy formats can be very high quality indeed ... - David Gerard (talk) 14:48, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
+1 David, and the availability of even lossy conversion tools is no help for the millions of mobile users we'd like to reach. The will not get hardware accelerated power efficient playback without WMF serving MP4, and they will not be able to contribute video (forget about transcoding on the phone!). It really is a simple question, do we want to enable the over one billion people with cameras in their pockets to contribute video, or do we want zero of those people to contribute. --Dschwen (talk) 14:59, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
"they will not be able to contribute video (forget about transcoding on the phone!)" - wrong, solutions are available -- Smial (talk) 23:35, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
This is a an unrealistic geek answer. You might just as well have suggested that every contributor roots their phone to add webm support. Rather than getting it free and centralized you are shifting the burden to the user, who has to pay and install an extra app. This completely misses the point of providing a lower barrier. --Dschwen (talk) 15:06, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Minor correction, there is no assumption that transcoding has to be done on the phone in order to enable an MP4 upload but then present it as an open format video. This RFC is confusing (as shown by some voting in the wrong sections based on their comments) as this is not a choice of do it, or don't do it. -- (talk) 15:04, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, good point Fae, there is the upload only option. But WMF would then have higherquality MP4 assets. What should they do with those? Delete them, or just not make them available to billions of mobile users? Sure one could demand open format player solutions. But those have to be developed, they have to be deployed to billions of phones, and they currently do not have hardware support. We could wait until they do, but who knows how long that would take. And in the mean time the boat that we already missed on Video is sailing further and further, and our game of catchup will get harder and harder. --Dschwen (talk) 15:10, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Easy, make the OGV available on Commons and provide a link to the MP4 version on a partner site with lower ethics constraints than us, such as Google, Vimeo, Youtube or Flickr - whichever is prepared to clearly support the free reuse CC licences that we love and maybe pay back a huge pile of cash to the movement so we can pay for better platform support for open standards (hey, the cash does not even have to go to the WMF, let's set up an independent thematic organization for Commons with committed values of open knowledge). Hell, we could even auto-redirect viewers from these platforms/OSes to an independent host site if we are eager to sell our open knowledge souls and get in bed with the devil. -- (talk) 15:19, 16 January 2014 (UTC) is such a partner (with less constraints). You can upload anything there, including unedited raw video, and get a nice ogv out of it, with very smart conversion settings. --Nemo 18:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, or Wikimedia could incorporate a black-ops daughter corporation to do this "dirty work", which is like legally totally separate and not connected at all... on paper. Anyway this feels disingenuous to me. Either you make video available to the users or you don't. Offloading it to a third party so you can keep the appearance of a clean slate, and make users jump through another hoop, is not honest. Either you enable access to video viewing and contribution or you don't if you enable it then just do it yourself and stand by the decision. --Dschwen (talk) 18:56, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Personally, I give my unpaid time as a volunteer on this project to help deliver good outcomes for open knowledge in the long term (especially for my interest in GLAMs and LGBT culture). I am not here to ensure that the Wikimedia Commons website achieves a particular ranking on Alexa, or that the Wikimedia Foundation can leverage brand value from my uploads on this project. If another website does a better ethical job delivering open knowledge for global public benefit, then I suspect we would rapidly loose unpaid volunteers in preference for it; including me. Of course if we have (more) paid volunteers, that's a different ball game. -- (talk) 14:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi, Fae, could you explain why you brought up achieving a particular ranking on Alexa and how the Wikimedia Foundation can leverage brand value? I don't understand what the connection to tis RfC is. --Dschwen (talk) 17:16, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
The list in the beginning (expressing a view in favor of MP4 support, but not marked as such) claims that you need special tools to convert videos to free formats, and that the tools are not widely used in some community. If I understand correctly, VLC is a popular media player. Help:Converting_video#VLC_media_player says its converter has a quality issue related to what configuration it accepts — how about collaborating with the developers of VLC to improve the converter (maybe just add two UI controls)? --AVRS (talk) 21:17, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

David Gerard Dschwen Nemo AVRSThe original proposal appears to lack details on the difficulty of converting from MP4. Granted you're reasonably familiar with the subject, You could try to fill in the blank by linking to relevant documentation and writing an executive summary, such as in a subsection here. Gryllida 02:44, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

@Gryllida:, this is a bit of a tricky question. You want me to discuss what's not there :-)? Well I've made an effort last night and uploaded a bunch of my videos. As I feel comfortable with the Linux command line I was able to find a suitable set of parameters for the avconv program (just took me half an hour of trial an error and googling). This solution is ok for me, but it is nonetheless an extra step I have to take. If you are ok with typing commands like
avconv  -i $file -y -acodec libvorbis -aq 5 -ac 2 -qmax 30 -threads 8 ${file/.mov/}.webm
then that's good for you. Keep in mind that I can only offer a very specific experience. I don't need a fancy gui too for transcoding, but I did not want to do any editing either. Maybe someone with experience in editing can add to this. --Dschwen (talk) 17:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Finding a suitable set of parameters in avconv's man page has been difficult for me, too, because I convert video once in a few months and haven't thought of memorizing any of the required information. But it was our choice to use avconv. Why did you choose it? If it is because it is CLI, you can complain about codecs in general being complex, or the man page not newbie-friendly. Maybe because it is alphabetically near the beginning of the suggested list? Or are the proposed GUI tools too inflexible? --AVRS (talk) 17:55, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Batch conversion is easier than GUI for me. But that's besides the point. Anythingis more difficult than doing nothing I.e. uploading straight from the camera or phone. And don't forget that we are geeks, but the majority of our contributors isn't. If we want content diversity we have to encourage non geeks to participate! --Dschwen (talk) 18:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
It may be at least as easy to get the tools to support easy batch conversion as get Commons to support MP4.
I think the value of sticking to free formats only is bigger here than the difference between nothing and anything as used in your phrase. :)
--AVRS (talk) 18:56, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
It may be at least as easy to get the tools to support easy batch conversion as get Commons to support MP4. ?! This is most certainly not the case. A simple transcoder dropped into the commons video pipeline is one central change. Compare this to supporting tools on many many different platforms. --Dschwen (talk) 20:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
It's not just a single transcoder, but also a media-covered RFC and a value compromise, licensing fees and storage space. --AVRS (talk) 21:15, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
OK, as we are talking about "contributions only", it is an RFC, a small (but potentially dangerous as an argument for full support) compromise of values, licensing fees and conversion resources. --AVRS (talk) 21:18, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Licensing fees are not substantial and storage space is not an issue. And out there in the real world compromise is not a dirty word! --Dschwen (talk) 21:20, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Is "compromise of values" dirtier? --AVRS (talk) 21:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Now you're getting me pretty hot ;-) --Dschwen (talk) 21:41, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Out here in the real world "compromise" is often extremely dirty. Compromise of banking ethics, compromised banking system, compromise with Saddam Hussain, or making a compromise with devil worshipping cannibals are equally dirty examples when compared to compromising the up until now, 100% open standard values of Wikimedia Commons. It is a critical "Unique Selling Point" of the Wikimedia brand value. :-) -- (talk) 15:17, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I'd be interested in hearing what the "values" are that get cited here. I'm looking at the Foundation Mission Statement, and what jumps out is: collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. (emphasis mine). What I don't see is Opensource activism. --Dschwen (talk) 16:05, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Dschwen, you are a Commons Bureaucrat, not a WMF Bureaucrat, could you please stick to Commons policies rather than shopping elsewhere for convenient cherrypicking if you insist on wikilawyering? COM:SCOPE is quite clear enough, it states that Commons content "Must be of an allowable free file format" and MP4, by definition, is not a free file format. No emphasis needed to make my point. -- (talk) 16:49, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
There is no point in pretending that the mission of the WMF is irrelevant here. It is the underlying basis for what we do here. I am aware of the commons policy. And what we are discussing here is obviously a change to that policy, otherwise we wouldn't need this RfC. --Dschwen (talk) 20:55, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
WOW, thanks for that clarification. In which case, as a Bureaucrat could you please close this misunderstood RFC (which most voters think is about just allowing an extra format, not changing fundamental policy) and have a real RFC that changes the aims of Wikimedia Commons to include some weasel words like "free but with some 'encumbered' formats where you risk getting sued and losing your house or we might later change our minds and decide in a couple of years time that the media you have been reusing is not really free after all"? -- (talk) 21:04, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Come on Fae, cut that crap. I am obviously not wearing my 'crat heat, but my multimedia contributor hat. We have plenty of crats that are less involved in this issue. I was one of the reviewers of this draft, and with the amount of involvement how could you think it would be appropriate for me to act in a crat capacity?! And of course a policy that, as you pointed out, asks for open formats would have to be changed. If that is such a WOW surprise for you, may I suggest you read the RfC again from top to bottom to avoid further surprises? Bye now. I'm off to enjoy my weekend in the mountains of Colorado now. --Dschwen (talk) 21:23, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
"Crap?" Dschwen, I find your persistent hostile and caustic comments in this RFC unacceptable for someone trusted with Bureaucrat authority. Please behave yourself, you should be setting an example of mellow and collegiate behaviour in line with the expectations given at Commons:Bureaucrats. -- (talk) 11:22, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
For me, free content is not easily separable from free software. Software is content. Why should content be free (even for commercial use)? Isn't it so that people can easily share what they know and sources of their knowledge efficiently and without violating a copyright? "Software patents" allow contamination (without warning, sometimes intentionally), of knowledge (about software/tools) with useful knowledge that cannot be used freely.
The most obvious advantage of software freedom for me (compared to freeware) is the ability for users and third parties to fix errors and compatibility issues in abandoned software, or where the main developer wouldn't do it. While that seems to be also a reason for free content on Wikimedia projects, non-executable content doesn't usually suffer from patents on itself, or attempts to prohibit its reverse engineering (DRM is covered by my previous paragraph).
"Under a free license or in the public domain" is the relevant point in your quote. The Mission Statement also links to wmf:Values, which talks about open standards (though without specifying if it means free standards, or also patent-encumbered ones) and freely-licensed tools. wmf:Values links to wmf:Resolution:Wikimedia_Foundation_Guiding_Principles, which explicitly supports "open source" in its first section (you MP4 proponents have been citing "eliminate barriers" from the second section).
--AVRS (talk) 17:28, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Will we get good content from this

This has been asked by an opposer above. To me this is a valid question, but to flat out block content from being contributed is not the answer. We will have to curate and assess the content and make the good contributions more visible (by floating them up in search, which the new Elasticsearch can do, or by gadgets such as my - shameless plug- FastCCI). Quite frankly right now I'd rather have a crappy shaky cellphone video of a cow birth, or an oil derrick, rather than no video at all. Having so many uploads that we have to choose good ones is a problem I'd like to have! --Dschwen (talk) 16:31, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Seriously. And as if we don't have a gigantic heap of crap here already in allowed non-video formats; how will this be any different? — Scott talk 17:19, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Rest assured, we do not have a gigantic heap of crap here, though you are welcome to spend more time on this project than... elsewhere. Not everything banned users write on Jimbo's talk page is gospel, nor is it fair to describe all of those with opinions different to yours a "wannabe-digital Che Guevara". If you can get your off-wiki gang to chip in enough pennies, you can send me a "Digital gay Guevara" teeshirt though, that would be cool. :-) -- (talk) 17:53, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Supposedly Che Guevara was quite a meanie, not sure about Gay Guevara though... ;-) --Dschwen (talk) 18:48, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah, more timeless wisdom from Wikipediocracy's biggest fan. Your rose-tinted spectacles appear to have gone completely black, as I can assure you that in addition to the good stuff, Commons has warehouses, storerooms, vaults, chests, crates, boxes, buckets, and various assorted mounds, piles, and sticky lumps of utter crap, accumulated indiscriminately by an army of hoarders with the approximate nous for curation of a granite paving slab. And yes - many of the people pushing the zOMG-we-must-lead-the-free-format-revolution narrative strike me not only as wannabe digital Che Guevaras, but evoke José Arcadio Buendía dreaming of his perfect city of mirrors in the jungle - or Don Quixote tilting at windmills.
I thought your inability to hold a conversation without mentioning your sexuality was a stereotype, but evidently it's not. How dull. Ciao. — Scott talk 08:53, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
FYI, Gay Guevara. :-) -- (talk) 15:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Hence my fondness for the "ingest" option. We'd really benefit from people being able to film something on their phone and click "upload to Wikimedia Commons" even with a conversion step - David Gerard (talk) 17:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
You have to remember that we're looking for compelling reasons to fly in the face of what seems, from the state of this RFC, to be a community distaste for non-free and patent-encumbered formats. If there's relatively low-quality content coming out of the people who would be empowered by this switch, then maybe the reasons aren't so compelling. This isn't really an argument so much as an observation about what the point may have been :) --MarkTraceur (talk) 18:28, 16 January 2014 (UTC)As a volunteer, not as a staffer

I think we will get more:

  • Blurry, low quality videos and videos violating someone's copyright (by showing creative works) as well as videos containing copyright protected music.
  • Videos violating personality rights.

I think we don't have the manpower to review these videos because one really has to watch the full video to find out whether it is suffering from any of these problems. We do not even offer online image editing tools so I think we should put our efforts into other areas. Whoever is able creating a high-quality video in mp4 format is usually also able to convert to a free format. -- Rillke(q?) 20:06, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree with Rillke, and I think that the current obstacles for uploading video material are indeed a quite efficient "crap filter". If someone wants to upload a video here, they have to be a bit determined and willing to go through video conversion - which isn't terribly complicated, but at least people can't right away upload to Commons some low-quality rubbish they have taken with their mobile phone just now in an one-click manner. And for this I'm grateful, really very grateful. On the other hand, if one has a video that is really a substantial contribution and they really want to donate to Commons, it's totally manageable to convert and upload it. It's more important to get some quality content than huge amounts of more or less questionable content. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:56, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I disagree, obviously. I think we have to dare growth and lower barriers instead of putting them up. Even for me (as a technical minded user) the conversion and editing process of video is just too cumbersome to bother. I have an SLR with Video capability (5D MkII) which could produce stunning HD video and a new smartphone (Moto X) which produces pretty good HD video, and have found my self shooting clips on numerous occasions with it but never managed to upload anything. Why do I have to waste my time jumping through hoops, just to prove that my content is worthy enough to be accepted on commons? I think this attitude hurts the project. --Dschwen (talk) 22:03, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Well, look at the JPEGs people are currently uploading... every day they include tons of copyvios and out-of-scope photos that need to be deleted; it's already very hard to keep up with it at Commons, and undetected copyvios are everywhere (yes, I'm not one of the most active admins myself...). Why expect people being more careful with videos? And as Rillke says, it's obviously much harder / time-consuming to review videos. Gestumblindi (talk) 22:17, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
While I'm all for lowering barriers, is there any evidence that the lack of patent-encumbered codecs is an actual obstacle towards the contribution of video material of sufficient quality? Producing good videos will require serious editing anyway and basically every free software video editor supports free codecs, so you'll just have to export to another format. Hweimer (talk) 10:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
And we could increase quality on Wikipedia by preventing anonymous editing. But commitment to FOSS is not the only guiding principle. One of the others is: "In prioritizing new products and features, our goal is to impact the largest-possible number of readers and contributors, and to eliminate barriers that could preclude people from accessing or contributing." Requiring people to jump through unnecessary hoops to contribute is completely contrary to that. What if Theora and WebM were easier to produce and better supported such that this wasn't an issue? Would you be proposing that add more steps before uploading to make it more difficult? The goal should be to make contributing as easy as reasonably possible. Mr.Z-man (talk) 22:17, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
It depends on what is manageable. You certainly don't want Commons to become a repository of copyright violations and arbitrary personal pictures/videos. Commons is not simply a filehoster. Contributions to Commons can't be exactly compared to contributions to Wikipedia: Keeping it extremely easy to edit Wikipedia articles is less of a problem, because vandalism is easily reverted by any contributor and requires no special process or privileges. It still works well there, I'd say. The easiness of uploading images at Commons is already more problematic, as removing inappropriate content requires more time and comparatively only a few people can delete images. So, "to impact the largest-possible number of readers and contributors" is a noble goal, but the word "possible" is important. If uploading Theora/WebM videos were very easy and we couldn't cope with the amount of inappropriate uploads as a result - yes, then maybe we would need to introduce some additional obstacles, warning screens or upload limits (e.g. only one video per day for new users or the like) to make it manageable. Gestumblindi (talk) 22:30, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Except that we don't actually know whether or not it will be unmanageable. This is pre-emptive restrictions, which is even worse IMO. We make it easy, and then if there is a problem with abuse, we deal with it - using something sensible like upload limits or autoconfirmed requirements. Mr.Z-man (talk) 04:30, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
We've already considered a throttle for video and audio uploads (Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive 36#ExactMonth32 (talk · contribs)) and new users are throttled by Special:AbuseFilter/110 for all their uploads. In fact, they can't upload more than 6 files using Upload Wizard at once. But they aren't told, and that's I think the issue: We're developing intransparent barriers while The Foundation undertakes everything making contributing easier.
To conclude: New file patrollers are overworked, WMF wants to polish their numbers while not fully understanding that we have a copyright/personality right-violations-issue, high quality contributors want to be able to easily add their content.
Where could we go from here? We could, for example, allow mp4 uploads only from trusted users. Trust could be defined by the global behaviour on WMF-wikis, or previous good contributions to Commons. We could write this into our official rules so users know about what they can achieve and maybe have a goal which involves contributing in a positive manner. Other models are possible: New users could be allowed uploading one file that has to be reviewed before they are able to upload the next files. But we are lacking such a review system. That should be implemented, first I believe; before enabling mp4 uploads and other popular video and music format. -- Rillke(q?) 09:13, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
@Rillke: It seems a bit unfair to me to reduce the WMF's goals to polishing their numbers. I'm willing to assume good faith and would think their motivation is in line with their mission of making the educational content more available. --Dschwen (talk) 17:25, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, maybe you are right. But if it's available on YouTube it also doesn't harm and the WMF does not have to pay for the bandwidth (and patent) fees, which I guess, will grow with the popularity of video usage. And it seems to be dubious to me that everything needs to be a video; APNG and animated SVGs would be great to have for graphic-animation and they can be more easily edited than video files. There is so much room for improvement that I think before they buy expensive video converting hardware (or did they already?), they could invest more into software development. The mw-code base needs major improvements, for example some of the special pages still use layout tables and fail to associate the label with the input field. -- Rillke(q?) 20:45, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
The existing transcode node is pretty idle at the moment (brion can elaborate, I lost the ganglia link). I was assured that the capacity is already there. To me it seems that enabling MP4 is a cheap thing that can be done right now. Regardless of other problems that we may have. Those other problems won't get solved faster by refusing mp4. --Dschwen (talk) 20:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Reasons for lack of adoption of free formats

I think the RFC text slightly misrepresents the reasons that free formats aren't widely adopted, and I'd like to weigh in quickly here. I think that the three listed reasons - difficulty in video creation, lack of support on mobile devices, and lack of browser support - are not reasons at all, but symptoms of the fact that these formats aren't widely adopted. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on the subject, and I welcome anyone who is (or thinks they are ;)) to weigh in. My hypothesis would be that the MP4 format edged out the free formats largely for a combination of slight technical advantages and various political deals between vendors. I doubt there's much by way of evidence for the latter, but it would be interesting to see the numbers on the former if we have them.

Also, given that the three listed items are symptoms instead of causes, I would suggest that they're ripe for being solved. Maybe not by us directly, but we have influence as a movement that could be put to use encouraging a good, free solution for video creation, good hardware support for mobile devices for free codecs, and better browser support in free browsers (sadly IE will be left out unless Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, decides to adopt...let's shed a tear). I think throwing that influence behind this cause is definitely something Commons should support as a community, even if the broader Wikimedia movement decides it's not worthwhile - this community is a giant in the online media sphere, and particularly in the free online media sphere, and having better tools for free video codecs seems like, even if this RFC succeeds, something that would be beneficial to us and others. --MarkTraceur (talk) 17:51, 16 January 2014 (UTC)As a volunteer, not as a staffer

For examples of some low-level things we could do to promote client-side Theora/WebM use, see mw:User:Brion VIBBER/Media codec alternatives (I've done some preliminary research into playback, but haven't done proof of concept for transcoding yet). This wouldn't be trivial work, but it could be beneficial for other free-software/free-content-ish projects.
However it is work that WMF would prefer to avoid having to do just to get more audio and video into the Wiki*edia experience... One might consider also possibilities such as using MP4(AVC/H.264) for today's devices, while simultaneously working on VP8 & VP9 support aiming towards the future, but it'd be something we'd need to garner support for actually making happen... --brion (talk) 18:04, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't suggest that the WMF would do this work. I suspect a lot of the push would come from a community movement, and there might be some portion of it that's encouraged with grants, but I don't foresee WMF staff spending time on this, or at least not Foundation time. --MarkTraceur (talk) 18:29, 16 January 2014 (UTC)As a volunteer, not as a staffer
I think you are severely overestimating the ability we have to "push". Even if we could push just a little bit any appreciable results would be way in the future. We have the option to harness over a billion cellphone users as video contributors (and consumers) right now, as opposed to maybe a fraction in a few years. --Dschwen (talk) 18:53, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Guilt those not using free formats

I find myself unable to argue against adding support for MP4 upload or playback, especially when it's hedged with Ogg/etc. backups. Making it easier for people to contribute and view media on Wikimedia projects is very important, and MP4 support would further that. That being said, by supporting MP4, Wikimedia would be implicitly supporting MP4 in the other sense of the word. As a compromise, MP4 could be treated as what it is: an option offered for the ease of contributors and readers, rather than for the principles of the movement. Use Ogg/WebM wherever possible, but support MP4 passively for uploads (automatically transcoding an alternative or two) and as a fallback for viewing.

In other words, while supporting MP4 is a good move, we need to temper it by explaining to people the problem that we face, the contradiction between our desire for usability and our desire for a pure FLOSS environment for our free-media wikis. We should explain the problems with proprietary formats and offer people the best alternatives that we can, including browser plugins, transcoding solutions, et cetera. To think out loud: I wonder if there's a way to offer 1-click links that would open video streams in VLC. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 18:33, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Why now?

Number of video uploads per one image upload. Mostly stagnated, spikes are likely due to batch uploads, such as User:Open_Access_Media_Importer_Bot which is responsible for almost half of our video uploads. --Dschwen (talk) 21:34, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • 2006: free formats are really awkward to play, requiring additional codecs almost everywhere. Nobody anywhere, however, proposes allowing proprietary formats.
  • 2014: free formats are increasingly supported by browsers, now accounting for over 50% of users who can play them out-of-the-box. Suddenly it is proposed to allow proprietary formats ... because there are still a few (i.e. mobile) users who can't play them.

Is there supposed to be any logic here? In my view, if users of Apple and Microsoft browsers cannot play certain formats, this is a matter between Apple/Microsoft and their customers, and it's those customers' decision whether to keep using these browsers or operating systems which they cannot use for looking at patent-free videos on Wikimedia sites. darkweasel94 19:18, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

How about, it took us eight years to see that our previous approach failed. Video content on commons is still a sad little drop in the barrel. If the current approach is clearly no working that suggests we should change something, not "stay the course". --Dschwen (talk) 20:02, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the notion of supporting transcoding multi-format systems has been floated several times during those years. However now there's actually a funded Multimedia team at WMF with staff dedicated to doing multimedia stuff, so that team is driving the current effort to make video (among other media) more usable and accessible because making multimedia experience better for users is part of their job. --brion (talk) 20:17, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Darkweasel, there are problems no doubt, but things have gotten orders of magnitude better since when I first started contributing back in 2005. Bawolff (talk) 20:28, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Is there any actual data on how many new videos vs. other media files have been uploaded over the years? Only if video content is growing significantly slower than other content, I think that's evidence of anything "not working". I don't think anybody expects adoption of any new format to cause a sudden jump in the amount of video files. darkweasel94 20:39, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Good point. Turns out there is such data at (last table shows files by mime type). I haven't found this as a graph yet, and will prepare one. --Dschwen (talk) 20:44, 16 January 2014 (UTC) (data: User:Dschwen/stat, workin on graph now)
Graphs have been available for many years now, do you really have never monitored progress of the various formats in these years?! Now moved at: --Nemo 09:06, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Nemo, that would have at least saved me the painful raw data extraction from However that data is flawed, too. I'm not interested in a minor mime statistic, but in an image/video statistic (ogg can be video or audio). Furthermore looking at raw numbers is just one way (of limited use). I plotted a ratio of video per image uploads, which gives an idea of the relative popularity of video. --Dschwen (talk) 14:48, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
In particular looking at the data shows that Video only starts to appear by the end of October 2008. So quite frankly what was decided in 2006 is not really relevant, as we had no experience with video on commons whatsoever. --Dschwen (talk) 21:40, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Hm, Actually I need to revise this. I only considered the ogv and webm columns on stats. I'm sure there are videos among the ogg files as well. This seems to me to be a deficiency of the stats data. In the db we have the img_media_type field which could be used to get a census split up by IMAGE and VIDEO . --Dschwen (talk) 21:45, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
What we are discussing here about video actually applies to audio anyway as well so there's no real harm in counting all ogg files. darkweasel94 07:52, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

With Firefox being available even for Android, I think mobile platforms are embracing open formats rather nicely. ☺ Gryllida 11:16, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Except for every mobile platform that isn't Android, of course. There's no support in iOS, Windows Phone, or Blackberry. And all of them, including Android, still record videos in MP4, making contribution difficult. Mr.Z-man (talk) 18:44, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I've become aware that there are some bugs in our video support, making some platforms that should work, not. Thus I've made a test page: - If any video plays on this test page, that means your platform supports Free formatted video. (More radical ideas for supporting free formats, such as those mentioned by Brion below, are not tested on this page, only things that in theory we currently support are). Bawolff (talk) 02:12, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Well all I'm getting is blank boxes and slashed play triangles so I'm going to have to say Free formats are still far from being even remotely mainstream—Love, Kelvinsong talk 04:01, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Well yes - the tool is meant to separate out people who legitimately can't view free formats from people who can but can't view current commons videos because we're doing something wrong with how we embed the videos (Which I've learned is happening more often than I previously thought). Out of curiosity, which browser/platform are you using? Bawolff (talk) 23:01, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
iOS 7. Most people don't use desktops anymore—it's weird that I'm actually typing this out on a desktop. I go on the internet mostly on my phone.—Love, Kelvinsong talk 18:08, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

@Bawolff, thanks for creating that test page. I was happily surprised to find that the webm video played beautifully under Chrome on Windows 7. I think Chrome has recently become the most widely used desktop browser, no? -Pete F (talk) 23:59, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

yes, chrome is most popular with 30% of our traffic. Generally firefox and chrome both support webm very well. Bawolff (talk) 23:19, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Commons Video and Object Ogg videos played in Firefox for Android, didn't check sounds - David Gerard (talk) 18:03, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

WMF has already declared MPEG4 an official goal for 2014

The writers of this proposal have left out important information: the WMF itself is not in any way neutral on this issue: adding MPEG4 is explicitly listed as a 2014 goal for the Multimedia team.

That is, it has already been determined that this is going to happen.

As such, two things: 1. The above needs to be listed up top of this page. 2. We need clarification on what the goal of this RFC is - what degree of community objection to the idea would make any practical difference? - David Gerard (talk) 18:35, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

It's been determined that the Multimedia team trying to get MP4 to happen is going to happen, yes. It hasn't been predetermined that they'll be successful -- as it's been said, "there is no fate but what we make for ourselves". --brion (talk) 18:49, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Brion's beat me to the punch for most of it, in part thanks to edit conflicts. I'd like to add, in the spirit of both comments above, a request: would the Multimedia team please explain what they'd implement (and why) if they got a "blank cheque" from the community? I understand that the plan would and will change based on community input, but it'd be nice to have the context. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 18:57, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
There is an implementation of "adding mp4 transcode and ingest" support is already in the timed media handler waiting for a configuration change. This has been in code and in place for a little over a year. You can see how it greatly impoved accessiability on a quick sample of devices / browsers here. -- Mdale (talk) 19:17, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, David, but this is a gross misrepresentation of the content of the two documents you linked to. I suggest you just retract this section and be done with it. --Dschwen (talk) 18:59, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Meh, I think we could do with a section pointing out that the RFA was expressed in a biased way and written from the point of view that the WMF officially wants this to happen - just carefully read the introduction, there is no way that this is being proposed neutrally from the WMF's viewpoint. I certainly don't like being cast as an "opposer" of MP4 and based on the introduction an opposer of the WMF's plans, rather than a "supporter" of open standards. I'm more concerned about that not too subtle use of language than whether MP4 was a hard goal or a soft goal for the WMF multimedia team. -- (talk) 19:07, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
That's what the documents say. I've linked them for reading. If they don't mean what they say, then you are free to clarify why they say things they don't mean.
Seriously, the various multimedia teams have been pushing "we want encumbered formats, they're cool!" for a few years, several times now. Someone really wants this to happen, despite the repeated and consistent community objections. You are supplying no clarity whatsoever - David Gerard (talk) 20:00, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
David, the interpretation you posted above goes along the lines of this is already a done deal and this RfC is a sham. This is a very inflammatory comment, and clearly not what the documents say. The RfC is explicitly mentioned in link2 and link1 talks about coming up with a strategy regarding MP4, nothing says that this strategy could be not to utilize it. --Dschwen (talk) 20:18, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I am noting these after you (personally) have expressed that you do not understand how one "yes" option and three "no" options for the proposal diffuses the count; and that the "against" case reads like it was written by a "for" supporter. I have not characterised the RFC as a "sham" - and would ask you not to try to put words into my mouth in this manner - but I have noted that it has several extremely problematic characteristics, which you say you do not perceive. I have noted that, given all the problems it has - and the previous times this same proposal has been put forward and shot down - its remarkable persistence really, really needs explanation. If you could address the many stated concerns, rather than continuing to personally attack those raising them, this would advance matters - David Gerard (talk) 20:44, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Dschwen, as a 'crat you know better than to use successive paraphrasing to bend another's words, this is not a logical reductio ad absurdum but a misplaced rhetorical trick. I agree with David that this RFC is not neutrally phrased and certainly makes me feel like to oppose it one must be opposing the WMF. -- (talk) 20:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Fae, there really is not much bending. DG explicitly writes : it has already been determined that this is going to happen.. --Dschwen (talk) 21:36, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry you feel the need to defend your statement. What I see here is that you wrote "this RfC is a sham", which is unnecessarily inflammatory in comparison to David's chosen words, and not what I would hope to see from a 'crat with responsibility to take a lead in showing the rest of us how to stay mellow. -- (talk) 22:19, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Interesting to see that you now have mentioned three times on this RfC and its talk page that I am a crat. I have to concede that in the effort to emphasize my point I have resorted to a bit of hyperbole. So to clarify, David's comment gave me the impression that he thinks the RfC is a sham. I have no other explanation for his assertion that MP4 is going to happen. Or do you think there is room for any other interpretation than this means "regardless of the outcome of this RfC"? I'd be interested to hear that. Apparently David is utterly dissatisfied with the RfC. This is unfortunate and we should find a way to address this rather than quibble. --Dschwen (talk) 22:33, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps then, as a gesture of good faith, you could strike your admitted hyperbole. This may encourage David to review any unnecessary flowery language he has used. Dschwen, as Russavia discovered not that long ago, the leadership role of Bureaucrat must be reflected in general behaviour on this project, that is a higher standard to live up to than the rest of us have to bear. As for rewording this RFC after it has been launched, this would be problematic, unless the proposer wishes to press reset. -- (talk) 22:53, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Done. So I guess I'll stay under your microscope, heh? It'll keep me clean and make sure that I don't one day commission and upload content to sexually harass an editor here. Thanks for looking out for me! --Dschwen (talk) 23:10, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Welcome to the club. Thanks for stepping back a little. -- (talk) 23:17, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
And I have personally stated to you, that one might just as well see these as three yes (some form of MP4 introduction), and one no option. --Dschwen (talk) 21:37, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
The intention of that document you linked is that the Multimedia team is going to ask the question. What actually is going to happen depends on what people say on this page. Some people in the multimedia team do think MP4 is a great idea, and will bring Wikimedia to the next level, others don't (As I'm sure you can tell by the votes, given that members of the team have voted). Bawolff (talk) 20:47, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Do we have a list of which of the "yes" and "no" votes are on the team? - David Gerard (talk) 20:49, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
(Edit conflict)MarkTraceur is a no, Aarcos is a yes. If you count me as being a part of the team (I'm not, but I used to be, and I'm kind of still unofficially associated with it), I voted no, Fabrice hasn't voted, but private comments he's made suggests he supports it, Quiddity is a liason for the flow team, but I think he also helps out multimedia team (not sure if he's officially helping out or not). In any case, Quiddity voted yes. Outside of the Multimedia team, Tim Starling, MPelletier, and ^demon are all WMF employess (Tim and ^demon are developers for the platform team, MPelletier takes care of labs) and all three voted yes. From what I've heard, some members of the Multimedia team wanted to wait a couple days before commenting, letting other people make various arguments first, so we may see more people from the multimedia team commenting later. Last of all please remember that WMF staff are community members too (at least some of them are), so its not like their experiences being on a WMF team is the only thing influencing their views on the matter - their views come from contributing to Wikimedia projects just like everyone else. Bawolff (talk) 22:18, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm afraid this topic thread is based on an inaccurate statement by David Gerard, who falsely claims that the WMF is planning to implement MP4 support regardless of what our community recommends.
Speaking as the product manager for the WMF's multimedia team, I find this claim to be incorrect and misleading. At this time, we are only considering these two related goals for our product roadmap:
1) Establish an audio/video codec strategy about licensing codecs like MP4 (to be determined based on the results of this RfC); and
2) Upgrade the current audio/video player (to be implemented based on that strategy)
Note that the second goal depends on what we as a movement determine regarding which formats to support: this would be just a simple UI upgrade, if we decide to stick to the status quo and only support open video formats -- or it could include MP4 support if that is the decision we reach together.
Other allegations above do not match the facts on the ground and seem unnecessarily belligerent. We're all in this together, and are trying to reach a complex decision based on actual facts, not rumors. Let's keep it that way, please. Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 22:10, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification Fabrice, it is helpful. I do however find the RFC proposal non-neutral, which I regard as an unfortunate missed opportunity to ensure a convincing Commons community consensus, should a significant majority become apparent later. -- (talk) 22:22, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Glad to read this, Fabrice :-) I hope I can ask you: has anyone asked - say - the Android Community, or other similar ones, to understand how is their feeling about free formats and the possibility to import them in their devices? I believe this is a bit of context which could be relevant for our choice (and, who knows, maybe also an eventual possible new field of cooperation). --g (talk) 22:34, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
My understanding of the situation on Android:
  • All (even remotely recent, that is ≥ 2.3 which was released in February, 2011) android devices support both WebM and Ogg theora
  • However, android devices (with some exceptions [8]) do not support hardware decoding for webm, but do for MP4. This means viewing an MP4 video is much more energy efficient (Thus not killing battery life) than the equivalent webm video
  • Google (the people largely behind android) are also the people behind webm, so its likely they will continue supporting webm on android.
  • There's rumours that there will be better hardware support for VP9 allowing efficient decoding (which is the next version of webm) [9]

I'm not overly familiar with this area of technology, so this is mostly the result of me googling. If I got anything wrong please correct/forgive me. Bawolff (talk) 23:18, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

That's indeed good news for VP9. And nobody is suggesting that we shouldn't take full advantage of that. It is a good indicator that adoption of open formats is progressing (even without our "push"). But until VP9 support actually arrives at our userbase I would strongly urge to consider MP4. If adoption of open formats gains better traction this will most likely be a temporary measure (nobody wants "MP4", we just want to increase the reach for video, if that bottomline can be achieved without MP4 all the better). The other aspect is accepting mp4 uploads. Again if VP9 is supported and will result in 50% smaller videos compared to MP4 then it is clearly a superior format. But for this RfC I suggest looking at the near term and what we can and should do to widen our video userbase for uploading as well. I don't think we can afford to sit this one out any longer. I remember the promises of Theora and WebM from years ago, but when I look at the reality today I see near to no consumer hardware generating OGV or webm video files. --Dschwen (talk) 23:26, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you Bawolff :-) So, the most important "counterpart" is not at all against open formats, there is instead a technical issue mostly regarding battery consuming. There is also a software issue. And yes, we are all waiting for VP9, which should soon be another point of interest for our repositories but it's not yet ready. Technical issues, if it wasn't for them, open formats could be of interest for interlocutors.
In a long term perspective (which is the measure we always had since our very first beginning) open formats have a chance to be successful. They are not refused, there are technical issues. We can't say now whether they'll really be successful or not, but today they have a chance. I believe that if we now open to MP4 (MP4 videos online), this wouldn't help them that much, because there would be no need for them: when even Wikipedia gives its users proprietary formats, why working to develop open ones? But we have our mission and it is coherent with our values: open formats and open standards on the web to allow the creation of content not subject to restrictions on creation, use, and reuse. I believe that we have to stay with open formats, and that this line of conduct can be followed at its best with on-the-fly transcoding, because this is what we do at any level here: we take proprietary knowledge and convert it, transcode it into freely usable knowledge. The videos we are talking about shall contain free knowledge. New contributors could upload their MP4s, but readers would get them in open formats.
It is certain that bugs will not be solved, software won't be compiled, hardware will not be adapted, device producers will not invest in compatibility, if we ourselves are not the first to believe in our own programs. And if we don't remember that everything here monumentally exists because we received help and opportunities from the open source communities. Now it's our turn to be with them: part of the monument is theirs. --g (talk) 02:01, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

David, thanks for those two links. Now I can stop trying to interpret the initial surge of pro-MP4 votes from employees and people working on the related technical team. Gronky (talk) 00:00, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Serve Only Freedom

In reading this RFC, I have seen two majour goals:

  • Continue supporting freedom
  • Support more users

In my knowledge, Chrome and Firefox make up the majority of users. Of those who are not users, Chrome and Firefox are readily available and are not impossible to install (unlike Internet Explorer and Safari). I see no problem in requiring people to have a browser that conforms more to standards.

To support freedom, I think that the WMF should do another blackout: display a message to users if the browser fails to play a video, and explain why. Explain how the browser's developers have made an intentienal, malicious decision to actively be uncooperative with the whole world in the name of patents. Explain how it is Wikimedia's duty to encourage universal access to information.

-- User:Csherbert

And what about mobile users? And what about contributing video content? --Dschwen (talk) 01:44, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
And users in locked-down environments such as schools, who often, due to budgetary reasons, are forced to accept only Internet Explorer? I'm all for freedom, but openness should mean "open to all, regardless of technological choices or knowledge." Ehurtley (talk) 09:20, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
As you said, it should be open to everyone and you should not be forced to buy Windows OS to view videos on wikimedia projects. 15:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
This is quite a strawman argument. This RfC is not about narrowing down the platforms that can contribute and view content, it is about expanding them. --Dschwen (talk) 16:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
For budgetary reasons they have to use IE? What? Firefox can be downloaded for free (both senses), and works on all major OSs. Why would it cost to use FF or another browser with ogg or webm support? PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:56, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
For schools there is the labor cost of hireing someone to install new software on 200+ ancient computers. For iPhone users, it's a choice between Apple-optimized safari and the much slower Chrome app. (There is no firefox for iPhones. 😕)—Love, Kelvinsong talk 05:07, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Solidarity with other free software projects

There's an argument to be made that Wikimedia should stand in solidarity with other free software projects and communities that use unencumbered video encodings. GNU MediaGoblin, for example, transcodes uploaded videos into WebM files to be served to users. And there's an issue in GMG's tracker that outlines some possible solutions that Wikimedia may want to adopt to help guide users to use Web browsers and plugins that support unencumbered media encodings. pehjota (talk) 02:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

On compatibility with Creative Commons

Geni implicitly asked how this interacts with Creative Commons.

I spent all day today trying to answer this, and wrote 1800 words on it. I may still post that essay in the next few days, but in the mean time, a wise co-worker pointed out that the important parts of the argument were really very short, sweet, and simple:

First, Creative Commons has enthusiastically endorsed the use of YouTube, delivered primarily through h264, as a way to show people CC BY content. CC has also enthusiastically endorsed specific pieces of content published in h264, like Big Buck Bunny (check the download link). They've also endorsed other platforms that use h264 to deliver CC-licensed video, like Flickr. So while we know Creative Commons endorses open standards (for good reasons!) they presumably do not think there is a fundamental conflict between h264's licensing and the language, or spirit, of the CC licenses, including the requirements about commercial use.

Second, the Creative Commons license doesn't prohibit putting content into formats that are hard to modify (like a metal plaque) or into formats you don’t have a legal license to use, even though the license gives you the right to modify and use. It has only one restriction on the technological format you can put content into, and that restriction is very specific, very tailored, and discussed at great length - it prohibits DRM|. If they had meant to add a requirement for publication in open standards, CC could have. For example, Lessig wrote about closed standards in Code before founding Creative Commons, and closed standards were mentioned during the 2006 drafting of the license we use (version 3.0). Despite that, CC chose not to address closed formats in the license. Given both the plain language and the history, I don’t think there is a good reason to believe that the license prohibits using patent-restricted formats, even where those formats might have unusual restrictions about commercial/non-commercial use.

More on patents in a moment. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 04:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Commercial use and h264

In this comment, I'd like to discuss the h264 patent restrictions that are likely behind the message in Geni's camera, and why, in my personal opinion, I don't think those should be a substantial focus for this discussion.

For this part, I want to stress that my professional obligations are to the Foundation; individual community members should not rely on the analysis below when making decisions that could put them at legal risk. (Some day, I hope to work with a legal ethicist to figure out how better to address that problem, but this is not that day.) In the meantime, please review our standard disclaimer from Wikilegal, which is applicable here as with all my writings on legal topics:

Note - This Is Not Legal Advice:

  • This comment is not legal advice.
  • The legal team can only represent the Wikimedia Foundation on legal matters, so this is not official advice to individual members of the community.
  • The legal team cannot provide consultations, and contacting the legal team does not create any confidential relationship.

For more information on this disclaimer, see here.

How the license works

It was helpfully pointed out in IRC this morning that FSF has made an older (but quite similar) version of the license available here (see also HTML version OCR-ed by odder). Since a version of the license is publicly available, I will refer to sections of it below.

MPEG-LA has structured the h264 license so that, by default, all devices are restricted to non-commercial use. Then "video content or service providers" sign up to get a license that allows them and their users to make 'commercial' use of the devices they've already bought. (You can see a more complex explanation of that in the first paragraph of MPEG-LA’s summary.)

Section 2.1 (page 8 of the FSF link, also in HTML) of the license implements the restrictions on devices, by placing a restriction on the companies that build hardware and software that is then sold to end users. This may be why Geni's camera appears to have a restriction.

If this RFC passes, we would seek to obtain an "Internet Broadcast" license (Section 2.5, see in HTML), which would allow us and 'our' users to use any product (like Geni’s camera) "in connection with" the video you upload or download from us. (This "Internet Broadcast" license is the type of license that MPEG-LA said in 2010 that they will never charge a fee for.)

In other words, according to the design and intent of MPEG-LA's license, our agreement with MPEG-LA is what would permit your commercial use of your own devices/software. (Yes, I agree that it is absurd that our intellectual monopoly system allows sentences like this to be written, but for right now, it is what it is.)

Note: I took the liberty to link to an HTML version of the patent license agreement I OCR-ed and proofread yesterday; it should be easily linkable and can, of course, be reused if need be. odder (talk) 13:57, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
@Odder: in your view, based on the license you proofread, would this enable a reuser to not only commercially reuse a video for their own purpose, but also to "rebroadcast" that video on their own web-service, allowing further commercial reuse without negotiating their own agreement or paying for an Internet Broadcast license? -- (talk) 09:18, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Reasons supporting this interpretation

As noted above, this arrangement (users purchase non-commercial devices/software; businesses "unlock" commercial use of the devices by getting a license) is how MPEG-LA says in their summary that the system should work. And the language of the license arguably does do this, speaking of a license to "End User[s] to use any AVC Product in connection with the Internet Broadcast AVC Video".

Perhaps more importantly, if you’re not a lawyer, is that in practice, this appears to be exactly how the system does work - to the best of our knowledge, individuals who upload to/download from YouTube, Vimeo, and other extremely commercial video sites that are MPEG-LA licensees have not been subject to lawsuits from MPEG-LA. So there is a valid argument that the risk to users from MPEG-LA's patents is not substantial, even when the users themselves commercially benefit (as is the case for professional users of YouTube and Vimeo).

Reasons not supporting this interpretation

The license seems to have been written before any of the lawyers involved had thought through the implications of user-generated content websites, so the route by which the license passes to and protects end users is awkward, and frankly not without ambiguities. In addition, specific devices (like Geni's) may communicate these terms poorly to users, which may be add more confusion. So the agreement is certainly open to interpretation.


As many people have discussed above, there may be good moral, ethical, and strategic reasons to oppose or support this plan. However, in my opinion, non-commercial restrictions on the use of particular h264-based devices, or their interactions with Creative Commons, are not good reasons to oppose it. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 05:06, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. Not just my camera(s). You will find the similar text with Nikon and pretty much any other camera. I can't establish what the situation is with epic-m red dragon but at $50K a time I don't think we have many users who own one.
  2. If we are going to consider past behaviour MPEG LA's behaviour over theora means we can reasonably assume hostility. Given that the MPEG LA license spectacularly fails Debian's "tentacles of evil" test (9.c on the DFSG and Software License FAQ (Draft)) this a problem. In particular it kills off most of your "Reasons supporting this interpretation" since it relies on MPEG LA's own claims about the license and that they haven't been evil in a certain way so far.
  3. The strict legality argument could have been shortened to "CC only deals with copyright and some moral rights stuff" which is true but ignores the wider spirit of free content. Still if you want to go for the strict legality stuff we need to consider the Definition of Free Cultural Works which the WMF adopted as its standard back in 2007 (before that we mostly used Debian's definitions). The problem appears with reusers. If they get the MP4 copy they can't redistribute that in a way consistent with Definition of Free Cultural Works and they can't sell it in a way consistent with the MPEG LA license without the risk of being asked to pay a fee.Geni (talk) 07:47, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • There are a lot of arguments here; I've split them up a bit differently from the questions:
Freedom Defined: The Definition of Free Cultural Works very specifically says "[w]hile non-free formats may sometimes be used for practical reasons, a free format copy must be available for the work to be considered free." So the authors of the definition considered exactly this scenario - where the content was available in both an encumbered and unencumbered formats - and said it was acceptable.
spirit: The spirit of free culture is to allow modification of the work. Under this proposal, users can modify the work in either of two formats. Freedom Defined and Creative Commons both agree that this is compatible with the license and the definition; it seems odd to say that something that both of them allow is contrary to the spirit of a movement that they, in large part, defined. I'm not going to claim that either of them would be happy about it; I'm certainly not happy about it! But I think to claim that this is a clear violation of the spirit of the movement is incorrect - proprietary standards have always been part of how open culture has been distributed, for better or for worse, just as free software running on proprietary operating systems has always been a tool used by the free software movement to pursue its larger goals.
Debian/tentacles: I agree that we should not trust MPEG-LA; I've written publicly about not trusting companies since at least 2006. But if MPEG-LA acts badly, WebM is also potentially in trouble - the only thing we know there is that MPEG-LA signed a secret agreement with Google. It is unfortunate, but if we want to give users 100% perfect comfort about using videos, we must either place trust in companies with bad track records, change the patent system, or distribute videos as .gifs. Until then, if we want to distribute video, no matter what format, we have to analyze and assess that risk each time - the answer will never be that there is no risk.
which cameras: I never said it was just your camera :) As I said, I expect (based on Section 2.1 of the document) that many cameras would have similar language, even nominally "professional" cameras like the Red.
contributions-only option: If you're primarily concerned about the restrictions placed on commercial users downstream from us, you could consider supporting the contributions-only option. This doesn't solve the moral/ethical questions, but does put the legal risk more squarely on WMF, since in that scenario we would be the only possible commercial user of the patents, and we would be very explicitly licensed.
Hope that helps explain the situation.-LVilla (WMF) (talk) 03:05, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
@LVilla (WMF): I really want to know if this last point by Geni is right. That's my understanding, and if correct, would pretty much nix this whole thought exercise. For the avoidance of doubt, here's my situation: I'm a Debian user, Debian has h264 encoding/etc stuff in "main", but it (obviously) doesn't come with a patent license from MPEG-LA. If I download an h264 file from Commons, make a derivative (implying re-encoding with that Debian main software), and post it to my blog, and then sell it, am I liable (according to the agreement you propose to have the WMF sign)? Greg G (talk) 23:46, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I hate to weasel out with the "I'm not your lawyer" answer, but I'm not your lawyer; the statement I made above already pushes further against the boundaries than anything I've posted online since I passed the bar :/ As I'm saying to Skalman below, the evidence suggests that a broad number of businesses, including many small ones (like the pro users at YouTube and Vimeo) are using video in the way you describe, (1) without licenses and (2) (to the best of my knowledge) any widespread litigation, either from MPEG-LA, AVC, or from the trolls operating in this space. This is definitely not proof that it is not a license violation, of course, but it does suggest that MPEG-LA is not treating it as a license violation, and that the license is not a practical barrier to commercial use. (Of course, if you're particularly concerned about your own risk, the WebM option is also there.)
It's also worth noting, as I did above to Geni, that if your primary concern is for downstream commercial users, one option is to support the contributions-only option. Since, in that case, the downstream users never use ("practice" in lawyer-speak) the h264 patents, the risk is very squarely on the WMF, not others. That still obviously triggers moral and ethical concerns, so we can debate those to our heart's content, but more clearly/explicitly does not put even any theoretical burdens on downstream recipients.-LVilla (WMF) (talk) 03:05, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks @LVilla (WMF): for your replies. But I have to be blunt here: you are the lawyer for the Wikimedia community, and we need answers to these questions to make an informed decision. Weaseling out isn't really OK as the lawyers (and maybe some others) are the only (sic) people (sic ;) ) who have actually read the agreement that the WMF will be signing. You either have to give that agreement to us so we can read it and make our own decisions, or you need to be our lawyer, as you are actively acting as such (signing an agreement, effectively on our behalf). I understand option 1 isn't possible, so option 2 is all I got. (And no, a "mostly similar" pdf from the FSF from 2 years ago doesn't cut it.)
I appreciate your suggestion of the contributions-only option, however, even if I'm undecided/probably against that as well, personally. Greg G (talk) 06:17, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I understand your frustration. The problem is that, as much as I'd love to be the community's lawyer, I'm not - the state bar of California, whose professional code of ethics is what I'm obligated to follow, is quite clear as to who my client is: it's the Foundation. Not Foundation employees in their individual capacity, or the businesses Skalman asked about below, or (unfortunately) the community. This is a line our legal team is quite aggressive about; we push very far and very hard on this, to a level that many other lawyers are uncomfortable with. But here you're asking me to go even further, and I can't/won't do that. :/ (As I said above, I'd love to spend some quality time with a legal ethicist at some point to give me more flexibility about who I can advise. But that's for a future date.)
If it helps you make an assessment, I'm comfortable saying that the key sections referenced above (2.1 and 2.5) are identical between the FSF-published version and the newer version. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 17:36, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
2.1 says "the Licensing Administrator hereby grants to a Codec Licensee a royalty-bearing, worldwide, nonexclusive, nontransferable sublicense under all AVC Essential Patent(s) in the AVC Patent Portfolio to make, have made, Sell or offer for Sale an AVC Product, and for a Consumer to use such AVC Product in connection with decoding AVC Video encoded by any Consumer or encoding AVC Video for the Consumer's own use or for Transmission to a Consumer."
2.5 says "the Licensing Administrator hereby grants to Licensee, a Seller of Internet Broadcast AVC Video to an End User, a royalty-bearing (subject to the terms of Article 3.1.5), worldwide, nonexclusive, nontransferable sublicense under all AVC Essential Patent(s) in the AVC Patent Portfolio for Licensee and for such End User to use any AVC Product in connection with the Internet Broadcast AVC Video which is Sold by Licensee to the End User."
"Consumer" is defined as (in the old version) "a natural person (a) using AVC Video in his or her own personal capacity and not engaged in commercial activity or activity for which he or she receives any remuneration or (b) using AVC Video in connection with video teleconferencing in which the AVC Video is limited to depictions of persons (and related materials) participating in the teleconference, and mobile messaging in which the video is created by and sent to an End User. "Consumer" use of an AVC Product shall be limited to the Consumer's personal use only with another, or in such person's capacity as, an End User."
"End User" is defined as (in the old version) "any person or entity which orders, sends, purchases, retrieves, receives or is specifically sent an AVC Product or AVC Video for their or its personal use (including use in connection with video teleconferencing), whether alone or in combination with any other product, and not for re-Sale."
Summary: This is indeed synonymous (kinda) with the NonCommercial clause in the CC license suite. Something the community is against. Downstream users are important. They're why we aren't an NC licensed project.
Also, my understanding/reading of the license is that the (non-commercial) license is only given to users directly involved with WMF. IOW, users 2-steps away from WMF (eg: someone who got the file from a mirror, if that mirror has not signed an MPEG-LA license (aside: anyone know if the Internet Archive has?)) can not make commercial use of the file (including users of Debian 'main'/Free repository).
This means that (as I understand it) each and every one of these files, if "allowed" on Commons, would need to have a big red warning on them a la the Fair Use warning on some Wikipedia images. Greg G (talk) 21:39, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
The conclusion here is that if the Wikimedia Commons Community wishes to have legal advice, in particular to understand if these changes proposed by the WMF puts unpaid volunteers, unpaid contributors or re-users who are not employees of the WMF at risk, then we need to contract our own lawyer rather than rely on the WMF. Until we have such advice published, then our community is voting on this RFC without proper advice as to whether the outcome might be one of our volunteers being sued for large amounts of damages. Strangely enough, if we ask for a one-off grant of $5,000 from the WMF to do this, then I suspect it would be treated favourably. -- (talk) 17:44, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
@Fae and @Luis, it seems to me that the way a community goes about this is to create a legal entity, which then can do things like hire lawyers to look out for their interests. Sound familiar, say, circa 2003? I say this only half-tongue-in-cheek, as I think it's the crux of Luis' dilemma with the California Bar. We're looking for something that differs in two important respects from what the Bar is used to: (1) a rag-tag group of individuals wants legal advice, not for each of the individuals and their actions, but toward the goals of the project that binds them together; and (2) the legal advice sought is not primarily how to protect the group from litigation, but rather how to respect its downstream users from litigation, thereby removing obstacles to their activity. Luis, I am really glad to hear you are actively working on this stuff. It seems like an evolution that will be difficult, but very important, for the legal framework for stuff like this. -Pete F (talk) 21:38, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  • @LVilla (WMF): do you mean to say that "and their users" means that I, as a business, can film something with my camera, upload it to Youtube, download it from Youtube (now I just became a Youtube user) and redistribute the downloaded MP4 file with commercial motives? Because isn't that what Wikimedia Commons wants to be, a media repository which you can use either directly or download and use for your own commercial motives elsewhere? Skalman (talk) 10:48, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    • @Skalman: I'm afraid I can't give a much better answer than "I can't give that business legal advice", because I'm not their lawyer :/ But businesses all over the world make very wide commercial use of h264, despite (as someone pointed out above) only 1300 of them having actually taken a license. That strongly suggests that businesses (and their lawyers) are comfortable with this situation. This may be incorrect; certainly, the language is vague, and many businesses do things that are in violation of various patents, so saying "businesses do things" does not prove anything. But it does suggest that the license is not a practical barrier to commercial use.
    • As I noted above, if downstream commercial use is your actual primary concern, another option is to support the contributions-only option, since that puts the risk more squarely on us, as the only commercial user in the system. (It does still leave strategic/ethical concerns; I hope to find time to weigh in on those separately.) -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 03:05, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Ogg Vorbis, user recognition, prohibiting DRM, and terminology issues

This comment covers a number of issues but here goes. If Wikimedia adds support for MP4, is it possible that users might be tempted to generate MP4 videos with a full audio track and a video portion that consists of a static image or other similarly minimal content with the purpose of effectively supplying an audio recording that would be more widely supported than an Ogg Vorbis recording? This effect could weaken the promotion and support of other open formats such as Ogg Vorbis, in addition to Ogg Theora and WebM video.

Another consideration is whether users who see video offered in both MP4 and Ogg Theora (or WebM) formats are likely to go with the MP4 video and practically disregard the other format choices even if their browser or platform supports Ogg Theora and/or WebM in addition to MP4. It would be better if a majority of users had to at least consider the existence of video in open formats.

Releasing content under a copyright license that prohibits additional restrictive legal terms or technical protection measures (TPMs) can be useful for increasing the ability of recipients to use and reuse the content even if the license allows patent-restricted formats such as MP4. At the same time, such a copyright license can have the effect of excluding content from certain distribution channels and platforms, including ones that are quite popular. For example, all of the Creative Commons licenses-including the non-copyleft CC-BY license-prohibit the application of TPMs, even though Creative Commons has mentioned that certain environments practically require works to have TPMs applied, such as Apple's iOS App Store and, in the case of Japan, terrestrial TV broadcasts. For free/open source software, the widely used GNU GPL and LGPL licenses have been held to be incompatible with certain distribution channels. Along similar lines, making content available only in open formats may be worthwhile for encouraging support for open formats (and altogether the Wikimedia projects have a *lot* of content compared to smaller projects) even if it makes the content harder to use on certain platforms.

A final note: The term "open format" may be somewhat ambiguous because a format can be publicly documented while still being subject to patent restrictions. The term "free format" might be better but could be ambiguous for different reasons.

--Gazebo (talk) 06:55, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Any format we already support can be abused in an improper way:
  • animated GIF where Webm is more appropriate
  • PNG for photos that should use JPG
  • JPG for content that should be vectorial (rasterize as a content protection method!)
  • PDF where SVG/JPG/simple text would be more appropriate
  • SVG where simple text or MathML would be more appropriate
  • Photo collages which would be better as separate images
I fail to see how just another constructed abuse should be an argument to discredit the format. And what is the message you are trying to bring across in the last paragraph? DRM/TPM is not on the table and does seem tangential at bet to the RfC. --Dschwen (talk) 07:10, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I think GIF is different, because files in "video" formats are usually rendered in a way assuming at least a few seconds, seek/pause controls, short frames and possibly audio. --AVRS (talk) 13:08, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Re "making content available only in open formats may be worthwhile for encouraging support for open formats" - this theory has already demonstrably failed. — Scott talk 09:06, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I guess you mean "if it doesn't have a monopoly, it failed". --AVRS (talk) 13:08, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
No. — Scott talk 14:49, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Users that can read open formats went from almost nobody to 50%. How is that failing? Or are you talking about failing because Wikipedia with strictly open formats is only the 4th website in the world? Just because Apple might never let their users have access to standards it doesn't mean we should add an extra cable to every car or an extra codec in every website. By buying incompatible devices people are exercising their freedom to ignorance and should be warned about that instead of rewarded. -- 00:01, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
This is not just about reading, it is also about contributing. Right now we don't even have a significant amount of video content, because uploading is too hard. Consumer devices produce MP4 video. Rather than letting people upload that right away we force a transcoding step on them that is too much of a barrier for the average user (but probably not the geeks who comment here). --Dschwen (talk) 00:07, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
"Right now we don't even have a significant amount of video content, because uploading is too hard. " Proof? Most people use Microsoft Office. We would have much more articles written if we allowed docx or xls, writing in wikieditor or visual editor is too hard. We could get more useful content, if we would support people in countries with bad infrastructure, so we could get more photos (or videos) from those countries instead of the 666th featured picture of the Tower Bridge... -- Smial (talk) 01:24, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Enabling mp4 uploads would not preclude us from supporting people in countries with bad infrastructure. How would you envision such support? One step is actually to improve contributions via mobile. Cell phone penetration is surprisingly high those countries. --Dschwen (talk) 02:34, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Incompatible with Chapter bylaws?

Fajro notes on wikimedia-l:

FYI it's against the bylaws of at least 4 chapters (Argentina, Chile,
Uruguay and Venezuela) to promote content in non-free formats.

I've asked for precise wording, what constitutes "promotion", etc. - David Gerard (talk) 14:23, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Interesting governance issue. I note that Jon Davies chose to vote in strong support of including this non-open format, clearly feeling this was an important issue as it was only his third edit to Commons since he took the post of UK CEO. Considering his position, perhaps he would like to explain the UK Chapter's official position, and how reducing openness in this way squares with the published mission of the charity?
Note, I read the WMUK Mission as declared to the Charity Commission to put projects that promote closed formats out of scope for the chapter, with the result that funding projects or events which rely on closed formats and licences not possible to fund. For example, this would make supporting a future Wiki Loves Monuments project impossible for the UK chapter, if Commons were to become reliant on MP4 formats. -- (talk) 15:03, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
That reducing openness bit confuses me slightly. All content will be made available and archived in open formats. We are not suggesting to replace the open formats, we are adding an encumbered format to increase the accessibility of our content. --Dschwen (talk) 16:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Accessibility is not the same thing as openness. We could solve a lot of problems by letting Google front end all our content, accessibility would improve as well as market penetration. Adding an "encumbered format" means that Commons is no longer an open project, by definition, and this may well result in some funding sources becoming unavailable, including project funding from some Chapters. -- (talk) 16:45, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
That is true, Accessibility is not the same thing as openness. That is why we have to discuss this and make tough decisions. We need to really think about prioritizing here. I'd really like to know more about your chain of argument that MP4->no more an open project->loss of funding sources. Can you substantiate this? --Dschwen (talk) 17:28, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
MP4=="encumbered format" -> WMC no longer fully open -> WMC funding for "open source" or "open projects" gets much harder to argue -> funding goes elsewhere. -- (talk) 12:38, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, Fae, that was just a repetition rather than a substantiation. I'd be interested in which funding sources are conditional on being fully open, and if supporting more users by adding MP4, while serving and retaining all assets in open formats, does indeed mean that WMF is not fully open anymore. --Dschwen (talk) 14:24, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
As a previous Chapter Chair and Chair of the Chapters Association, I believe there are good grounds for Chapters to question and reject funding any project which is not committed to open standards and formats (for example the serious concern that proprietary formats are a commercial tool to lock users into spending money on specific brands of software and devices). The title of this section relates to Chapter Bylaws and both David and myself have flagged this for the attention of relevant Chapters. Though I have helped write Chapter bylaws, I cannot answer for them, I can only raise the question. -- (talk) 14:57, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
That is an impressive assortment of titles (and out of respect for you I shall consider mentioning them in my replies to your comments henceforth), which are probably meant to assert some authority. However, I'll stick to the arguments you are bringing forth here. And again I see this problematic statement that proprietary formats are a commercial tool to lock users into spending money on specific brands of software and devices. Which, of course you merely cited as an example. Or are you implying any connection/relevance for this RfC? Because since it is stated that all assets are to be stored and (if supported by the client) served in unencumbered formats, we are locking in nothing and forcing nobody to do anything. If anything we are giving the users more choice, and apply less force on them (even though I would liken the "force" that we apply to that of a mosquito sitting on your shoulders). --Dschwen (talk) 02:40, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
It is genuinely quite hard to understand your paragraph due to the unhelpful sarcasm. Your question appears to make a false assumption as the RFC states "But the MP4 versions would enable many mobile and desktop users who cannot view these unencumbered video files to watch them in MP4 format" which I read as providing "encumbered" formats to some users by default. -- (talk) 09:29, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, then there is a genuine misunderstanding here. The intention is to serve unencumbered formats, and fall back to MP4 wherever open formats are not supported but MP4 is. --Dschwen (talk) 14:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC) P.S.: in either case it is stated that all content is kept available in open formats. --Dschwen (talk) 14:52, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
The current situation is that no users are served "encumbered" formats of any kind by policy. The future proposed by this RFC is that Wikimedia Commons changes its scope and aims to allow "encumbered" formats for some users by default, and presumably for all users should they click a link to it. This is my understanding and it is entirely supported by the text of the RFC. -- (talk) 15:32, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
When you say "encumbered by default", I'd like to point out that this default is the only option for these users anyways. It's not like we are withholding an open format from anybody. And I would like to emphasize that no content is locked down and made less accessible. --Dschwen (talk) 16:07, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

We're seeing roughly 2-to-1 opposition here. Any chapter that explicitly prohibits "promoting non-free formats" in their bylaws is obviously going to have a much stronger reaction on the issue. I don't see how anyone can seriously doubt that those national chapters are going to interpret the phrase as prohibiting any distribution of content in such formats. Policy here obviously shouldn't be dictated by any one chapter, but adopting a widely opposed policy here that directly conflicts with the bylaws of multiple national chapters would create substantial problems. Alsee (talk) 13:31, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Market share of free platforms is increasing

If you compare the numbers for 2013 to the ones from 2012, you will find that over the past year, the fraction of users able to display free codecs (Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Android) has actually increased from 60.95% to 64.36%. And given the fact that the vast majority of new mobile devices being sold run Android, this trend will probably continue for the foreseeable future. Therefore, calls for support of patent-encumbered codecs based on prevalent browser technology are hardly justified. Hweimer (talk) 15:35, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

So, content that can only be viewed by two-thirds of users is "good enough"? When it comes to developing features for MediaWiki, developers often go out of their way to support IE6 with either full support or a graceful fallback, because it's still used by nearly 1% of visitors - which is still 200 million pageviews in a month. And serving unusable content to millions of people is just poor design. And then there's still the matter of contributing. What percent of video cameras or smartphones record Ogg or WebM? Mr.Z-man (talk) 19:07, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
LOL, Ogg and WebM are completely free, Microsoft/Apple/others are the ones creating the problem for their users by not including support built-in in their browsers/devices. And now, because they want to dictate the web/world should use patented video formats so users are forced buy their platforms to be able to watch videos (because others like Linux distros won't include the patent-encumbered codecs) Wikimedia will simply surrender and let this happen??? You don't get it do you? --Rafaelluik (talk) 23:30, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
No, you don't get it. As much as we might care about it, we represent a tiny minority of users. I can pretty much guarantee that the vast majority of our users don't give a shit about things like patent-encumbered video codecs. Telling users to buy a new phone so they can watch videos on our site is just ridiculous. And since we have so few videos (because of the additional difficulty required to produce them), it wouldn't be a very convincing argument even for people who do care. I have an Android phone, but the ability to watch videos on Wikipedia was not even a small factor in my purchaing decision. We have a pragmatic decision to make: Do we put our content and our users first, or our commitment to open software first? We can, with very little difficulty, make it easier for users to contribute videos (which would then be automatically transcoded to an open format, vastly increasing the number of freely-licensed videos available in open formats) and allow nearly 100% of users to view video content on our sites instead of 65% without requiring them to install new software (which they may not be able to do) or buy new hardware (which they may not be able to afford). Or we can stick to our pie-in-the-sky ideals, thinking we're making a difference, when in reality, our tiny number of videos and minimal usage means we're basically a non-entity in videos on the internet. Mr.Z-man (talk) 05:05, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
MediaWiki (the software) already supports patent-encumbered codecs just fine, so you can use them on your own wikis as much as you like (or until the MPEG LA comes after you). This RfC is about whether the projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation (such as Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons) should start to use these codecs. Please do not confuse these two questions. Hweimer (talk) 11:25, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not. And my comments should make that pretty obvious. I'm merely pointing out that when it comes to other things on WMF sites where support varies by OS/browser, losing support for even 0.9% of users is considered unacceptable. So the idea that not supporting 35% of users is "good enough" as you seem to be stating, is nowhere near acceptable for a site whose mission is to disseminate its material "effectively and globally." Requiring people to buy new devices or install new software to view and/or contribute is hardly an "effective" means of dissemination. Mr.Z-man (talk) 15:56, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Hopefully Microsoft will empower their product users and give them a better experience on Wikimedia projects through supporting free and open formats in their browser. 22:04, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Confused about your mission

This proposal leaves me confused about the mission of Wikipedia and Wikimedia. Getting "better" video content is important. However, more important to me as an average user is Wikipedia as an open and free platform for sharing information.

It's why I have donated money and a small amount of time to improving the articles, because I believe that Wikipedia is a thing that has and will continue to change the world and peoples perception of how important it is to freely share information. In this mission, IMHO Wikipedia is the most important project in human history.

I would be personally disappointed if the community chose a direction that locked up content in proprietary formats.

Also, I feel it would let down the Free and Open Source Software community at large - a community that has contributed substantial effort to create software to support your organization's mission.

I think that while this RFC might make it slightly easier to get better content for a piece of the mission, it would substantially degrade the project as a whole. I would perceive it as selling Wikipedia's values for convenience. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Michaeljcole (talk • contribs)

I don't think there is any confusion on the foundation's part. Their front webpage states Wikimedia is a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world. (Mission statement - note that it does not mention the delivery mechanisms for the freely licensed content, just that they intend to disseminate it effectively and globally!). It is a reasonable question to ask if distributing said freely licensed content in an encumbered format makes it less "free". But please keep in mind that nobody wants to lock up content in proprietary formats, we only want to offer MP4 as an additional alternative. All content would remain available in unencumbered formats as well. --Dschwen (talk) 19:09, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
the fact is that when I want to know about WMF's vision, I can read "We believe that this mission requires thriving open formats and open standards on the web to allow the creation of content not subject to restrictions on creation, use, and reuse." Which is something that cannot be confused with anything else than what it says. So, I know that nobody here is deleting "fully free" content, but what I quoted is something that very closely regards "the delivery mechanisms". I regret, but we are certainly not going to pick only selected excerpts from the whole body of what we share and respect in its entirety as a sort of constitutional guideline.
Now, on top of that page there is a very clear note: "In a very wiki way, values only stay values while most agree with them." Therefore, we can discuss them and revert them too, if and whenever it's wise to do it. At the moment, though, this is what I can read today as a vision we all (in theory) share and have agreed upon. Maybe I missed prior discussions suggesting to adapt the vision to newer and more comfortable issues, anyway still it is there, the text I copypasted here, I read it and I happen to agree upon it. Just like I agree on what is written in the Foundation Guiding Principles, another page in which the delivery thing is defined.
To be clear, I am sincerely grateful towards the Multimedia Team and towards all the other friends that are trying to find a way to solve the many problems we have. I hope this debate is not going to translate itself into loss of respect, thank and esteem towards who is working for us all. But a proposal must be evaluated depending on the expected return on the investment, and while some consider that the hypothesis of admitting proprietary formats would be a heavy moral investment for many of us, others suggest that we would get in return excellent advantages, but no compromise is possible, by now. At this point, you can read yourself that the Community is thoroughly divided (which is what press is already recording at a first sight) and I don't think that these "parties" will get closer in the next future: maybe we can try to find a different approach to the question? Are there any ways to look at it? Are we sure there aren't any? Because a divided Community is something that we really cannot afford and nothing coming out from such a division is going to be costless. --g (talk) 18:44, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

The "free" in "the free encyclopedia" is not promoted enough

  • In English Wikipedia, a problem is that "free" can be misunderstood as "gratis". I believe many of the supporters here think "gratis". That's not important for everyday reading of Wikipedia, minor quotation or private saving, but "libre" is the meaning in which "free" is used in "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" on every Wikipedia page.
  • In Russian Wikipedia, there is no confusion with "gratis", but free as in freedom is also ambiguous (don't mention "open" which would be no better than "gratis" in this context): people whose edits are reverted with a rationale like "there is no place for this in an encyclopedia" wonder where the freedom part is. The Russian article on free content is relatively short. I haven't tried to analyse its effect on newcomers' knowledge (I edited the relevant articles mostly from the POV of comparing free content and free software, and views of different proponents of them), but, anyway, I guess it is visited by fewer people than try to understand what "the free encyclopedia" means and potentially fail.

--AVRS (talk) 15:51, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

So the question is, how to make the proper meaning of "free" more prominent. Without that, readers do not understand fully what we are comparing here against simple ability to read or upload ("isn't everything freely downloadable free?"). --AVRS (talk) 16:01, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Interoperability is how you grow royalty free format support

Putting aside the whole “sum of human knowledge accessible to everyone” and assuming WMF’s mission is exclusively to promote free formats. It still imperative to be interoperable to grow free format usage. I think this point is lost it the large set of folks voicing no support for mp4 /h.264.

Would there be equal amount of protest for open office supporting export and import of the .doc format? By OO supporting .doc, it enabled OO to communicate with the rest of the world, and in the end greatly broader the use of open office free software, along supporting the whole free software platform it was a part of. Successful free software projects also run on Windows and Macs even though the platforms are non-free. They leverage that user base to help validate a more complete free software stack which they also run in. Unsuccessful projects limit their usage to a single platform and are not interoperable with existing standards.

You can’t grow free format usage on “principals” alone. Interoperability is the only way to grow our video platform that has free format support as part of its principals.

Growing free format adoption is not a zero sum game of pure free format religious adherence to free software royalty free software stacks and pushing everyone else away. Growing adoption, includes encouraging broad participation and helps promotes the free alternative.

If other open source and free software projects displayed this same “tactics” they would be long abandoned, or chastised to extremely limited user base. Look at the minuscule or non-existent usage of fully FOSS linux for example, and the total dominance of its more flexible interoperable larger tent varieties.

How many people who voiced “no support” for interoperability; Run a full FOSS stack with zero non-free software, how may have never seen a youtube video ? have ever used a .doc format?

Interoperability is not an abandonment of free software ideals, its the best way to promote and grow free software ideals and free format adoption. -- Mdale (talk) 18:57, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I assume you are complaining about "Partial MP4 support - Contributions only" not getting as many votes as "No MP4 support". Somebody asked people to choose only one option, and the RFC's format is not very convenient to express both. Also, the distance between converting from MP4 to WebM and adding a player for the uploaded MP4 files is pretty small, and votes for "contributions only" can be (mis)interpreted as a big step to "full support". --AVRS (talk) 19:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
No, interoperability means being able to view content on devices as well. If a quality software WebM player is developed it should be integrated it to our native app and we get more free format usage, great! . If a user comes to the site in a webview, or on a devices with limited capacity for software decoding, we should send a compatible stream to these visitors via mp4. Being broadly compatible and interoperable is how you grow overall participation, resulting in net increase of free format usage. Its pointless to have a platform that does not matter is not used, and ( exclusivlely ) "supports free formats", We want a platform matters is widely used, and "supports free formats". -- Mdale (talk) 19:45, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah, sorry, I misread your OpenOffice example as importing .doc and exporting a free format. --AVRS (talk) 19:55, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
It's one way, but insufficient. ODF is a great example. LibreOffice/OpenOffice ability to import/export OOXML (which by the way is not nearly as problematic as H264, falling under Microsoft's Open Specification Promise, which IIRC has been criticized, but is light years better than the MPEG-LA racket) does make it possible to use LO in a mixed environment, indeed has been a boon to me for many years. But, it isn't enough (and, it isn't all positive for free format adoption; at worst it ensures the legacy proprietary format always remains the only format generally accepted). A lot more has been and is still required to make ODF not be a second class citizen, ie supported by software most people use. This is an ongoing battle, eg in public procurement, and in marketing LO and other ODF first-class applications to end users and institutions. If this RfC had included a concomitant strategy to grow royalty free format support which went beyond a hoped for positive side effect of ~interoperability with dominant encumbered formats, to include advocacy (various forms, let's talk about how to make biggest impact), I'd be inclined to support it, at least on the ingestion side, and maybe both. Mike Linksvayer (talk) 03:43, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that is good point, we could make that more explicitly the goal, as this RfC represent how important free formats are to the wikimedia community. Things like showing warning to users, or putting a petition link to have MPEG-LA to make h.264 royalty free OR have apple support royalty free formats on their devices, link through on every video would still be better than having the user not be able to view or upload the educational content at all. -- 03:24, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
IMHO, you are confusing interoperability with paying a ransom. Libreoffice is doing a good thing by allowing users to open DOC files and to save them as ODT. I am not aware of The Document Foundation paying royalties to Microsoft, but please enlighten me if you can. As for MP4, users already have access to free tools which enable them to convert MP4 videos into Theora in a royalty-free way. What is being proposed here is paying ransom money. And what will this money buy us? The people who walked into the hostage situation willingly. As others have pointed out above, let the users of proprietary platforms get a clue. If they've made a choice to give up their freedoms for a keyboardless game console that spies on them around the clock, let us leave them be. They can view Wikimedia videos just fine by using general purpose computers. Melikamp (talk) 05:09, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
How does that paying ransom claim go along with the statement Moreover, no royalties are charged currently for AVC video codecs in the introduction section of the RfC? --Dschwen (talk) 05:31, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
What about upfront fee is due for the AAC audio codec in the same sentence? What about being sued anyway, and possibly losing? What about painting ourselves into a corner: what will prevent the patent-holders from jacking up the price once the format is adapted? Melikamp (talk) 19:40, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
It's not like we're going to delete all of our Ogg/WebM videos and serve MP4 exclusively. All videos, including ones originally uploaded as MP4, would still be stored in an open format. So if they change the terms, dropping support and going back to where we are now would be trivial. Mr.Z-man (talk) 21:50, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Would we be expected to contact all reusers of the MP4 files? That would not be trivial. -- (talk) 21:55, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
a rollout of betacommandbot2 = delete all mp4's would be trivial. this form of adversarial process is the standard, no? since we can't be bothered to contact photo uploaders, and fix their licenses, rather than delete. Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge 03:38, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Since when has what downstream users do with our content ever been our responsibility? We delete copyvio images and text that were improperly uploaded under free licenses all the time. Do we make any effort to contact people who may be unknowingly using them? Mr.Z-man (talk) 04:27, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
It has been our responsibility ever since we supported the precautionary principle. We do not knowingly make available material that may later have to be withdrawn as copyright violations or a problem due to "encumbered formats"; this is why this RFC will require a serious change to the scope of this project. -- (talk) 09:35, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Really? Last I checked, images are available for download immediately after they're uploaded. When did that change? Mr.Z-man (talk) 15:29, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Supporting MP4 will benefit educational users

The mission statement of the Foundation reads: "The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content..... and to disseminate it effectively and globally."

Making as much content available to as many people as possible should be THE focus, NOT waging a quasi-political fight against "proprietary standards" which only a small minority of the readers/users care about.

Making MP4s available along with the current formats only helps making as much content available to as many people as possible.

One important issue I haven't seen brought up yet, is the fact that many schools are in the process of acquiring tablets either as a new tool, or to replace the existing stationary computers.

In Europe and North America, the vast majority of these tablets will be iPads, which can only use mp4's.

By making MP4s a choice alongside the currently supported formats, these kids and students will be able to take advantage of our content and contribute to it. Otherwise we will be leaving those kids and students behind and effectively exclude them from our content.

Also: Shouldn't "freedom" mean that people can choose whatever format they want? Even if they're proprietary? Freedom to most people would mean that you make a variety of "free" and "non-free" formats available, and have the users choose for themselves how to view them. Without taking them hostage in an ideological fight. 09:25, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Reusers are already completely free to pay money to unnecessary intermediaries or transcode into proprietary formats when they use the free media Commons provides, we don't have to build these into Commons infrastructure to make this possible. For example, you can choose pay Amazon for e-books that consist of little more than collections of images from Commons, this does not make it within the mission of Commons to give links to these e-books from our pages, or add an Amazon "pay now" button to our site.
The reasoning that to be free we must supply non-free media makes little sense to me. Free is free, not some weasly-worded probably not free alternative; we are not selling "fat free" ice cream where the quotation marks become a legal requirement of the word free as by "free" we mean "a bit less fat than some alternative products". -- (talk) 09:40, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
it meets the free as in speech, and free as in beer test, but not the free as in loader. this kind of free purity test is divorced from reality. will you sacrifice the mission of providing content, upon the altar of ideological purity? if so, you will have a pure friendster for all your free friends. Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge 02:00, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Historical record

From a historical perspective collecting the media now for later use is in itself logical progression, as others have said MP4 format will be become free(2028) but by that time it will have been replaced yet if we collect that which is being created now we are ensuring that these pieces of knowledge will be available in the future. If we convert them upon recieval to ogv or webm and then we can provide them in a free format now and also ensure that should technology improve the conversion process/quality we can in turn improve those which are in practical use by sourcing from the original format.

on that note when discussing with potential partners for Freopedia I was given a tour of an archive that holds a a whole host of digital records which included an extensive geological survey of Western Australia's north west these records included visual and seismic information unfortunately noone at the time of archiving thought to also archive the software that created/displays the data. If we all go looking it not hard to find similar examples of such assumptions. From that perspective WMF collecting MP4 and having both the ability to convert and display is as much an essential element of sharing knowledge as any other aspect especially when its currently the primary format for recording those works. Gnangarra 13:14, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I have no issue with allowing the upload of MP4 video so that it can be undeleted in 2028 when it becomes suitably free/"unencumbered" and meets the project scope. Equally, there is nothing to stop us from publishing all these files on a Flickrstream or a child project of Wikimedia Commons which would be specifically set up for MP4 "encumbered" video files where we can provide an explicit licence statement of how not-quite-free the file is, and then import them all back in to the main project in 2028. -- (talk) 13:22, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Free Software Implementation

From the IRC office hour discussion that happened on the 16th, robla said something that caught my eye:

[19:19:10] <robla> brion: I don't think we can say for sure we'll be using free software for this.

Obvious question: Can you (robla, brion, or lvilla) please explain what the exact options are? And why can't we commit to the free software version from the get go? What will be the deciding factor? Also, just for comparison, where else in our software stack are we using proprietary software? I know of the obvious things eg JunOS on the routers and the Maxmind geoip database (not software but redistribution is restricted). Greg G (talk) 06:58, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Deploying closed source software for this is going to be hugely problematic from both operational & security perspectives. Adding a non-free component to core Wikimedia infrastructure is also an entirely different (and much larger) decision than what this RFC is about. This needs to be mentioned explicitly as well as discussed separately & thorougly. Faidon Liambotis (WMF) (talk) 02:15, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I would also like to hear an official explanation. In the mean time, the comment might refer to this restriction imposed by the patent licence, as highlighted by FSF:[10]
. Gronky (talk) 13:38, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Can you please add all proprietary software WMF uses to some list, like m:FLOSS-Exchange#Wikimedia_Foundation? PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:52, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not an admin. You'll have to ask someone else. (I was under the impression WMF didn't use any non-free software. I hope I'm right.) Gronky (talk) 00:48, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to reply here with my WMF account: As the WMF Release Manager I'm tremendously worried about this. I don't want us to be in a situation where we hit weird bugs in the software and are unable to correct them. We hit weird bugs in pretty much every level of software we use, from the "lowest" to the "highest". Bugs exist in all software. I don't want us to be unable to fix our own infrastructure. If a non Free Software implementation is required for h264 support at our size, then it's a non-starter for me. I can be overridden, of course, and maybe would be, but I wanted to make my official/work personality comment known. Pinging @LVilla (WMF): and @Brion VIBBER: for clarification here (and to respond to Faidon's comment above). Greg (WMF) (talk) 16:56, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Well done for coming out of the closet and raising concerns openly. I can't help but conclude that this WMF RFC needed more research, testing and "sounding" with the Commons community of unpaid volunteers, before being put to us as an apparently WMF officially supported proposal.
Referring to this email today from Fabrice/the WMF, aimed at GLAM professionals, the fact that the email opens with 3 paragraphs of why the reader should vote for this RFC is difficult to read as anything other than WMF supported and non-neutral canvassing. I would have no problem with truly neutral public notifications of an important discussion; this example email was no such thing. -- (talk) 17:12, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
WMF Multimedia Team leadership has a definite preference for Open+MP4 dual-stack as the most technically sensible solution for supporting video on all client platforms, and naturally they are pushing for it as their preferred solution. This should not be surprising, and it should not be confused with "WMF" as a total organizition putting all its power behind one option. "WMF" is not a monolithic thing; it's a group of people, who have different individual preferences, ideas, and ideologies. Building the RfC in private instead of in public was a compromise with legal, as I understand, which I was not a fan of; I have continued to push for clearer language and inclusion of alternative options but this is a group document, not my document, so it's not all exactly as I'd prefer. As far as "non-free software" I have no idea where that came from, we always planned to use existing free software such as x264 or ffmpeg, plus appropriate licensing. I would use whatever veto power I might have to nix use of non-free software for transcoding if it actually comes up. --brion (talk) 17:35, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, no, I am not in the least bit confused and I have advised organizations specifically on required processes and employee training for representation by email and other channels.
When GLAM professionals, such as our primary contacts at the British Library or the US National Archives, get a email in their inbox from a senior WMF manager from a WMF official domain name and has a closing signature as a representative of the "Wikimedia Foundation" with no caveat such as "this is my personal opinion and does not represent an official position of the Wikimedia Foundation", then the email is an official communication from the Wikimedia Foundation. When Fabrice writes canvassing emails such as this, he is doing this for the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia Foundation is paying him to do it. Thanks -- (talk) 18:12, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks brion, for the reply regarding non Free implementation. Greg G (talk) 19:01, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Fae, could we please assume good faith in regards to Fabrice. Fabrice is the product manager for multimedia - his job is to come up with long and short term vision for multimedia on wikimedia. In order to do that effectively he needs to know how various stakeholders stand on mp4 (this rfc is really for the extended wikimedia community, not just commons. It is a political decesion that affects all). Glam are one of those stakeholders, so its important that their voice is heard, hence the email. I have no doubt in my mind that fabrice intended the email to be a neutral summary of the issue at hand. Bawolff (talk) 16:43, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I have said nothing about Fabrice's faith, I have just highlighted that the email he sent out was non-neutral, I previously highlighted that this RFC proposal is written and structured in a non-neutral way. At no time have I made any assumptions about Fabrice's motivation or his person, please do not now paint this as if I have. Interestingly, nobody has come back against those assertions of non-neutrality to claim that this proposal or the emails sent out were written from a neutral point of view.
I am sure Fabrice is a great guy with the best possible intentions for the movement, I may have met him previously at one of our conferences, there is nothing personal in anything I have written. Thanks -- (talk) 17:43, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I'd say rather than highlighted you've offered your opinion, as I'm not ready to accept your assertions as statements of fact (but maybe that is a language issue on my part, as a non-native speaker). I've just read the email you have commented on above. I find it hard to see anything but a description of the state of video support in those first three paragraphs. Can you point out anything stated in there that is untrue? Paragraph 4 then offers a pretty candid summary of the main reason people oppose this RfC here. And nowhere in this email I see a call to arms to vote support, nor can I see that canvassing of a usergroup is taking place that would have an obvious bias toward a particular outcome of this RfC. --Dschwen (talk) 18:19, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Blimey, a list of perfectly true reasons to vote for David Cameron, with a mildly negative fact at the bottom, would still be biased canvassing. Thanks for all your efforts promoting your personal views on this RFC. I now make this fifty fourth time you have posted here; I think that's an awful lot by anyone's reckoning. -- (talk) 19:03, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of any posting quotas :-( --Dschwen (talk) 19:33, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. User:Dschwen (55)
  2. User:Fæ (37)
  3. User:AVRS (35)
  4. User:David Gerard (18)
  5. User:Bawolff (17)
  6. User:Enigmajr (15)
  7. User:Brion VIBBER (14)
  8. User:Gronky (14)
  9. User:Mr.Z-man (13)
  10. User:LVilla (WMF) (12)
For those equally obsessed with numbers as Mr. thirtysix ;-). --19:49, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Blatant off-site canvassing for voting a particular way in "good faith" - David Gerard (talk) 23:05, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I seriously do not see where he is advocating voting for a particular way. The text of the message is similar to the text of the message Fabrice sent to other mailing lists, e.g. commons-l (And about 10 other mailing lists). It includes a summary of some of the common positions but the summary is obviously incomplete, as its a complex issue - and that's why we have this page here. Bawolff (talk) 23:44, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
The GLAM mail has four paragraphs about the issue. The first three are about how widespread MP4 is, how it could help Wikipedia, and how the current situation is harmful. Only the fourth paragraph mentions that there are patent issues. A more neutral text would have mentioned both sides in the first paragraph, then done an "on one hand" paragraph and an "on the other hand" paragraph. Maybe the bias is easier to see if you flip it over: what would you think if the first three paragraphs were about the dangers of software patents, and then the fourth say "...but we'd reach more people". That would obviously be biased, right? Gronky (talk) 01:02, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Unedited video is a bad idea

Allowing MP4 videos is bad because of the patents. But there is also a problem with the fact that it will encourage people to directly upload the videos made by their camcorder or camera. Most of the time it is a bad idea to upload a video without any form of editing. Most of the time you need to remove at least the begining and the end of a video file to get only the interesting part. This will result in many very bad videos. On the contrary, we should encourage people (with tutorials) to edit their videos and to render the final edit in a free file format. Lionel Allorge (talk) 18:46, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't know what your expectations are regarding production value? Natural Geographic documentary? Unedited video is just fine. If cutting off boring parts at the beginning or end are your primary concern: There is wiki syntax to do this on the fly. I'd actually rather have the uncut video so the editorial decision of which parts to show can be made collaboratively on-wiki. We have to be really careful not to be quality snobs. As a first start a bad video of something that is better explained with moving images is better than no video. If a bad video is used in an article (assuming that despite quality it does add educational value), its exposure will be a driving factor for contributors to create higher quality video (if the experience form images is transferable, which is not unreasonable to assume). You can write tutorials until you are blue in the face, but only a small fraction of very driven people will read them. You are after all asking them for not only a video contribution now, but also to spend their free time on learning a skill that quite understandably seems pretty pointless to most people. After all there is a way to just upload stuff directly on other websites. --Dschwen (talk) 02:31, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Unedited video on Commons forms feedstock for people to produced edited video from, does it not? How could it not be useful to have a repository of CC-BY-SA video for people to use for various purposes? And even if 99% of it is crap, if the 1% that isn't is bigger than the proportion which isn't now, is that not a worthwhile benefit? OwenS (talk) 12:36, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Note that basic editing such as trimming clips is built-in on every mobile phone that takes video that I've used. Moreover in general, sourcing clips that will be used in editing combinations on-wiki is something we'll likely see in the future. Video's a building block, like text and pictures, and it's the ability to edit and remix it that makes it really valuable. --brion (talk) 21:31, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Commitment to alternatives

Reminder: if we don't come to an agreement to allow MP4 playback, we still need a playback solution for the various platforms where Theora and WebM aren't natively supported. Someone needs to commit to actually working on these things; if you vote against MP4 support in the above, please explicitly mention that you would like to see Wikimedia commit to alternate ways of making video available in free formats on major-but-inconvenient platforms like iOS and stock Windows and Mac machines without custom software installations available.

I would appreciate comments and feedback at mw:User:Brion VIBBER/Media codec alternatives and talk page. Note that even if we do support MP4, work in this area may be wise as a backup plan. --brion (talk) 21:29, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

this rfc has made me interested in testing our videos on various platforms. I tested on 8 platform/browser combinations, all of which we in theory support. Only 5 worked (yes bugs are filed, in some case patches too). Anyways i agree alt solutions are good, but i think we should make the existing solution work fully first. On top of that, Mobile frontend doesnt even load tmh js, which seems like a prerequisite to mobile support. Bawolff (talk) 21:48, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Previously, not loading TimedMediaHandler meant we showed the raw <video> tags through, which "just worked" in Browser, Chrome, and Firefox for Android. I assume something changed in TMH, MF, or both that broke this? :( --brion (talk) 21:54, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
"If we don't come to an agreement to allow MP4 playback, we still need a playback solution for the various platforms where Theora and WebM aren't natively supported." Not so. Theora and WebM are not natively supported on some platforms only because corporations deliberately chose to exclude free software from these platforms. People who choose proprietary software must deal with the consequences of their choice. Laurelrusswurm (talk) 19:19, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
What about pushing the defective software developers (READ: Microsoft & Apple?) to support free and open standards? 22:11, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Note that Apple and Microsoft are MPEG-LA stakeholders, with every incentive not to support the free codecs. They also have no particular reason or need to support them -- they've lobbied so far to keep them out of any web standards, so while they're "free and open" they're not actually "web standards".
The most effective way to get Ogg or WebM video into peoples' hands on those platforms is going to be for us to take positive action to make such software available through the web or through easy download channels (where possible). --brion (talk) 22:28, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Do you think that working on an easy-to-use converter to transcode into WebM, both for online and offline use, could be helpful? And possible? I mean something that could be used here, made available to other web services (to install on their own servers) and offered to end users too to convert their files with ease. I believe that end users won't use these tools, and I just made a test transcoding MP4 -> WebM with VLC (which is cross-platform and open source): not so esoteric, indeed, but still too much complicated for the ordinary user (and for me too :-). As an end user I would benefit of a "one button" tool, with all the common settings set as default. If I can press a button, one only, and get the process starting, I would certainly make conversions, I would make them for myself and for the web too, and little by little... Could it be? --g (talk) 23:29, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
On Windows 7 my FFmpeg to Theora+FLAC Ogg experiment was a failure—WMP didn't grok it despite of having everything Xiph+WebM installed. Installing WebM was "codec hell reloaded", their installer has no clue what its predecessor two years ago did. KISS, don't change anything at the moment, YouXXXX or XXXtube need no WMFtube competition. –Be..anyone (talk) 06:51, 22 January 2014 (UTC) Update, also see FLAC on Apple devices 15:45, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't quite understand this comment. You seem to have trouble getting open video formats to play or encode, but you still don't want WMF to add the capability to upload or server MP4? Why? --Dschwen (talk) 18:24, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Technical problems first; MP4 on older NT platforms is also horrible. As long as FLAC is still an adventure (commons reports duration zero for the 3.12 MB variant) I'm not interested in additional legal or completely new MPEG-dash issues. Let alone secret licenses. ;-) –Be..anyone (talk) 22:59, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Sure, adding MP4 probably won't solve all our problems, but we should not focus on fringe systems like "old NT" installations. And very few people here are legal experts. I'd prefer to outsource those types of problems to the Foundation's legal team. If they have determined that the legal situation for obtaining the MP4 license is clear, that is good enough for me. --Dschwen (talk) 23:23, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Note re: iOS: I can confirm that the newly updated version 2.1.3 of VLC for iOS both plays back WebM files from Wikimedia and can be triggered to do so from Safari via a URL ("vlc://" plus the URL of the WebM file). This brings us much closer to being able to create a basic video playback experience by prompting for installation of VLC (which is free/open source as well as free/gratis) through Apple's App Store, then launching it once confirmed. --brion (talk) 00:58, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

It does indeed work, but drains my iPhone 5 battery in less than 40 minutes, so it's not usable in practice. Coren (talk) 16:31, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Most folks aren't going to be watching 40-minute videos, though, they'll be watching short clips. There may also be work to be done on optimizing the VP8 decoder for ARM with vector extensions... --brion (talk) 17:25, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Free Knowledge requires Free Software and Free File Formats By Jimmy Wales Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Strong oppose

People sometimes ask me why I’m so adamant that Wikipedia must always use free software, even when in some cases it might be the case that proprietary software might be more convenient or better suited for some particular need that we have.

After all, the argument goes, our primary mission is to produce free knowledge, not to promote free software, and while we might prefer free software on practical grounds (since it is generally best of breed for webserving applications), we should not be sticklers about it.

I believe this argument is seriously mistaken, and not on merely practical grounds, but on grounds of principle. Free knowledge requires free software. It is a conceptual error to think about our mission as being somehow separate from that.

What is free knowledge? What is a free encyclopedia? The essence is something that anyone who understands free software can immediately grasp. A free encylopedia, or any other free knowledge, can be freely read, without getting permission from anyone. Free knowledge can be freely shared with others. Free knowledge can be adapted to your own needs. And your adapted versions can be freely shared with others.

We produce a massive website filled with an astounding variety of knowledge. If we were to produce this website using proprietary software, we would place potentially insurmountable obstacles in front of those who would like to take our knowledge and do the same thing that we are doing. If you need to get permission from a proprietary software vendor in order to create your own copy of our works, then you are not really free.

For the case of proprietary file formats, the situation is even worse. It could be argued, though not persuasively I think, that as long as Wikimedia content can be loaded into some existing free software easily enough, then our internal use of proprietary software is not so bad. For proprietary formats, even this seductive fallacy does not apply. If we offer information in a proprietary or patent-encumbered format, then we are not just violating our own commitment to freedom, we are forcing others who want to use our allegedly free knowledge to themselves use proprietary software.

Finally, we should never forget as a community that we are the vanguard of a knowledge revolution that will transform the world. We are the leading edge innovators and leaders of what is becoming a global movement to free knowledge from proprietary constraints. 100 years from now, the idea of a proprietary textbook or encyclopedia will sound as quaint and remote as we now think of the use of leeches in medical science.

Through our work, every single person on the planet will have easy low cost access to free knowledge to empower them to do whatever it is that they want to do. And my point here is that this is not some idle fantasy, but something that we are already accomplishing. We have become one of the largest websites in the world using a model of love and co-operation that is still almost completely unknown to the wider world. But we are becoming known, and we will be known, for both our principles and achievements — because it is the principles that make the achievements possible.

Toward that end, it should be a strong point of pride to us that the Wikimedia Foundation always uses free software on all computers that we own, and that we always put forward our best effort to ensure that our free knowledge really _is_ free, in that people are not forced to use proprietary software in order to read, modify, and redistribute it as they see fit.

reprinted from:

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Laurelrusswurm (talk • contribs)

"Through our work, every single person on the planet will have easy low cost access to free knowledge to empower them to do whatever it is that they want to do." Kinda ironic that your insistence on free formats prevents most people from even being able to access it in the first place. MP4 might require proprietary software, but it's proprietary software almost everyone already has preinstalled (to the point that almost no one even knows they have it installed).—Love, Kelvinsong talk 23:04, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Please try to see the other way: Why proprietary platforms wants to restrict access to free formats ? It's either for control or money if not both. -- jcdr
Free formats don't prevent anyone from being able to access anything. Proprietary formats and hardware prevent access by design. You might consider why an important element of the HTML5 standard like WebM is not universally supported. Regards, Laurelrusswurm (talk) 03:08, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
This argument is flawed, as the proposal clearly states that all media will be transcoded to free formats and - where possible - also served in free formats. Adding MP4 support will only broaden access. Nobody will be forced to use proprietary software in order to read, modify, and redistribute our video content. I am really confused why this comes up repeatedly here. --Dschwen (talk) 03:53, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
It does not matter why WebM or HTML5 isn't supported, just that it is not supported. And if the only reason I can't watch wikimedia content on my phone is because it's only provided in a "free" format, then that is preventing access.—Love, Kelvinsong talk 15:21, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but what you said here more than once makes no sense for me, and I'm extremely conservative wrt backwards compatibility and should work for everybody unless new features require new technology. Doesn't work with say IE6 or FF2 for other reasons? Technical incompetence. Needs iggy ffmpeg command with options longer 127 PC DOS 1 vintage 1980 characters? Technical incompetence. Fortunately there are helpful, free and open tools like Miro Video Converter, where all this nonsense is reduced to "drag and drop any media input file, click one of about twenty buttons to determine the output format, ready." On Windows users can also buy similar GUI tools, or get some spyware/malware installer for a wannabe-free tool. Under the hood almost all create those horrible ffmpeg command lines, it's just a GUI reducing everything to less options for a very very old (maybe even as old as 2013) ffmpeg with bugs nobody else recalls.
Now my point: One of these about 20 formats is WebM (VP8+Theora), one is Ogg (Vorbis+Theora), no VP9 or Opus in sight (stoneage GUI, 2013), a third button is MP3 (no video, and soon no more patents), and all the remaining buttons are different variants/profiles/presets/thingies for different MP4 devices. MP4 media for your device will not simply work on all other devices, unless your device represents the least common denominator.
WebM 2013 (VP8) and 2014 (VP9) have similar issues, it's not only some free vs. proprietary legal nonsense. I can perfectly understand that M$ or Apple, after they already paid for MP4 with audio, are not at all interested to "test" (= distribute and support) additional codecs. Such "tests" could cost them billions if submarine patents for allegedly free formats have merits. The H.264 vs. VP8 war is about billions. And both formats are technologically obsolete, H.265 vs. VP9 is the next theatre. But before the warriors move on they want our cash, they bribe our leaders (cf. Cisco and Mozilla), and they pull each dirty legal trick the other side has not yet tried. Your mobile phone is irrelevant in this war., you paid for it days or weeks ago, it was developed months or years ago, and as long as you're not willing to buy something new this RfC is not about your current device. –Be..anyone (talk) 21:37, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
I hope this doesn't come across as sarcastic but I'm actually so confused right now?¿ What are you trying to say—Love, Kelvinsong talk 04:11, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
@Kelvinsong It most certainly does matter why WebM is not supported.
Proprietary software comes with patents and/or copyright encumbrances. Lawyers are also required to oversee the legal agreements that must be negotiated; license fees need to be paid, all the underlying patents must be assessed (and possibly additional patent holders must be paid), source code must be provided, etc. Not one of these things is necessary with free software, not even lawyers if you adopt licenses like CC and the GPL. WebM and HTML5 are the W3C standard; it would be breathtakingly easy for every operating system and every browser to support it.
The only reason not to support WebM is to make it more difficult for free software to survive. MPEG-LA could choose to emancipate the Mp4 format but there is no profit in that.
Non-Free Formats are about much more than what plays on the phone you chose. There are many reasons to choose free formats, including:
  • for security, (it is much harder to hide spyware and viruses in free formats)
  • for interoperability, (you can share with anyone, not just the people who have the correct license)
  • for the sake of freedom - you can do whatever you want with them
  • so as not to lose control of your own data locked inside a proprietary format when the company stops supporting your version and enforces an upgrade, or because the company goes under,
  • and of course for economic reasons (many people around the world can't afford nonfree software).
Why is this happening? WMF was offered an MP4 license so attractive WMF had to consider it. The deal was so unprecedented, part of it included non-disclosure of the exceptionally beneficial WMF terms so as not to alienate its other customers (who pay through the nose for their own MP4 licenses). Commercial enterprises don't give anything away for free because they are nice, they do so only when it will lead to increased profits in the end.
It is hard to compete with free. A great deal of the Internet that we users don't see directly (the backbone) runs on free software. Free software threatens the business interests that want their proprietary software to be the only software. Because the most profitable business model is monopoly.
Once upon a time, SONY manufactured the best video tape format. It lost out to the inferior VHS format -- a free format anyone could use. The media industry learned from this, which is why a war of media domination is now being waged. One prong of attack consists of the international forging of Intellectual Property Law, while the other entails direct control of formats, and includes the application of technological protection measures (commonly known as DRM) which can prevent people from controlling their own work if it is locked in such formats. The multinational that owns whatever format wins at the end will be at liberty to dictate prices and dominate terms. When there is a but a single digital video format extant, like everyone else, WMF will be obliged to do as it is told or forfeit the ability to host video content.
WMF has been a steadfast supporter of Free Culture and Free Software... and now the MPEG company has demonstrated how desperate it is to enlist WMF by offering a free license. Please note, however, that such a license has a term with a time limit. It might need another renewal or two before Free Software is eradicated, but however long it takes, at the end of the day, MPEG expects to hold the monopoly on video formats.
In the world of the movies, this would be the equivalent of doing business with Darth Vader, effectively turning the twin concepts of free culture and free software into "Pottersville" Such domination would not necessarily be limited to video. Media multinationals have diverse holdings; WMF might be called upon to apply DRM to its audio holdings, or to discontinue using Free Culture Licenses as part of "the deal".
In the real world, monopolies charge just as much as the market will bear.
Although adopting MP4 support might seem to be a good idea here and now, in the long term it will deprive people of easy low cost access to media, which will effectively dis-empower us from doing whatever it is we want to do. Regards, Laurelrusswurm (talk) 09:55, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Formats have nothing to with lack of videos

Hello, I don't think that Wikimedia Commons lacks videos because of the no MP4 rule. If someone wants to ulpoad a video, they can convert it. Wikimedia Commons lacks videos because of intellectual property laws (like no freedom of panorama), because the community hasn't been encouraged to add videos, and because videos can't be edited as easily as text. Changing this rule won't change the bigger picture. --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:55, 21 January 2014 (UTC)


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