Linked by Kroc Camen on Sat 1st May 2010 21:12 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Hello all. Over time we have had every imaginable claim of bias levied against us. We are routinely called pro-Apple, anti-Apple as well as pro-Microsoft and anti-Microsoft (even within the same discussion thread!). OSNews is an editorial site where the content is selected by a core team of volunteers who either write up news articles themselves, or take links or submissions from users on the site. Read More for the full statement.
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Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...and I prefer your own pieces to simply regurgitating content from other sites.

I think you folks put yourselves into the line of fire knowing you are going to have shots taken at you. Sometimes I agree with your particular slants and sometimes I don't. Heck, most people don't agree with me most of the time. ;)

Anyway, the whole world seems to be going crazy lately. Lately? Probably forever, but I'm just getting around to noticing now. Lots of strange things going on with the internet (traffic control), copyright issues, patent issues, proprietary over open battles...

OSNews is one of 5 sites I visit regularly, more than once per day. It has been for years - since I first discovered it and enjoyed reading Eugenia's rants and raves. ;) I mean articles. (J/K Eugenia). I've been one to complain from time to time but things change and I guess I need to change with them. At least that's what my co-workers would tell me, I am sure, still being stuck in the CS ideas of the 70's and 80's.

Reply Score: 4

v Sorry.. But I have to.. I just do.
by invent00r on Sat 1st May 2010 21:37 UTC
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

And like every other First! that has been before. It is met with fail. Good job on being second ;)

Reply Score: 3

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Forth!

(can I get some on-topic cred?)

Reply Score: 5

David Member since:
1997-10-01

And of course it's just classic "cherry on top" that you mis-spelled "fourth."

And of course I'm doing my part by pointing that out to you.

Reply Score: 1

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

And of course it's just classic "cherry on top" that you mis-spelled "fourth."

And of course I'm doing my part by pointing that out to you.


And you miss the programming reference, well done (hence my second line)

Reply Score: 4

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

And I’m the guy who _always_ has to have the last word, nesting these threads forever.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Unicorns.

Reply Score: 7

rebel787 Member since:
2007-01-13

lol
thanks for making my day dudes!
Anyways, is it not common knowledge that this site encourage lively debate? Did I completely miss the plot?

Reply Score: 1

H.264 and Linux
by nt_jerkface on Sat 1st May 2010 21:46 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

Since H264 cannot be installed legally on Linux in the U.S. (and other likely soon-to-be-participating nations)

That's not true, you can install any codec you want in Linux. Linux users at the least will have Chrome which will have an H.264 decoder.

Reply Score: 1

RE: H.264 and Linux
by Kroc on Sat 1st May 2010 21:50 UTC in reply to "H.264 and Linux"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Legally. You _can_ install H264, yes. It’s just software. But it’s not been licenced, and we are talking about the RIAA’s next of kin who wields the power of a plethora of powerful companies with vested interests. The law is not interested in what geeks believe to be morally right or wrong, the law is written and the law (and the money) is on the MPEG-LA’s side.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: H.264 and Linux
by calc on Sat 1st May 2010 21:51 UTC in reply to "RE: H.264 and Linux"
calc Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm pretty sure these are licensed.

http://www.fluendo.com/shop/category/end-user-products/

Of course your point that you can't play H.264 legally on Linux without paying is a good one. Using Theora would be much better.

Edited 2010-05-01 21:53 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: H.264 and Linux
by lemur2 on Sun 2nd May 2010 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: H.264 and Linux"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Of course your point that you can't play H.264 legally on Linux without paying is a good one.


It would be a good point if it were true. However, I can always buy hardware with a H264 decoder embedded in it on which to run a Linux system.

Having paid for the graphics card hardware (which I would have to do anyway), I have legally purchased the H264 decoder contained within it, and therefore I have paid for the license to use it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: H.264 and Linux
by Kroc on Sun 2nd May 2010 23:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: H.264 and Linux"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

But software is covered by additional and different patents and licences, so just owning the hardware is nowhere nearly enough.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: H.264 and Linux
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd May 2010 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: H.264 and Linux"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

But software is covered by additional and different patents and licences, so just owning the hardware is nowhere nearly enough.


The decoder would be running on the video card, and not in software (not in the OS software nor in the player software).

I have paid for the video card, and therefore I have a license for the firmware that runs on the card. This would include the embedded H264 decoder.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: H.264 and Linux
by smitty on Mon 3rd May 2010 02:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: H.264 and Linux"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

The decoder would be running on the video card, and not in software (not in the OS software nor in the player software).

I have paid for the video card, and therefore I have a license for the firmware that runs on the card. This would include the embedded H264 decoder.

I'm pretty sure that's actually false. Do you have a source to back that up? AFAIK, the license AMD paid only covers their ability to implement the hardware functionality, and does not cover your ability to actually use it. The idea is that whatever codec you use is what interacts with the hardware, and you need to seperately get a license for that software. I'll see if i can try to find my source for that, but i remember thinking it was pretty outrageous at the time which is why i remember it.

Edited 2010-05-03 02:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: H.264 and Linux
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd May 2010 02:23 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: H.264 and Linux"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"The decoder would be running on the video card, and not in software (not in the OS software nor in the player software). I have paid for the video card, and therefore I have a license for the firmware that runs on the card. This would include the embedded H264 decoder.
I'm pretty sure that's actually false. Do you have a source to back that up? AFAIK, the license AMD paid only covers their ability to implement the hardware functionality, and does not cover your ability to actually use it. The idea is that whatever codec you use is what interacts with the hardware, and you need to seperately get a license for that software. I'll see if i can try to find my source for that, but i remember thinking it was pretty outrageous at the time which is why i remember it. "

I'm pretty sure that to sell something like a video card WITHOUT the required licenses to use it would be a breach of promise or something similar.

The "car analogy" and a driver's license is not quite applicable here, but it is illustrative. You might consider that when you purchase a car you are licensed to use all of the equipment within that car, but in order to drive it on public roads you need a driver's license in addition. This then is a license to drive on public roads, more than it is a license to drive a car. I'm pretty sure that you don't need a separate driver's license in order to drive a car that you have bought on your own property.

OK ... so explain to me how it would be legal for someone to sell you some hardware without also selling you permission to use it (given that this is not like permission to drive on public roads, but more like permission to use the equipment on your own property).

PS: Perhaps I might need separate permission to use the hardware with someone else's property ... i.e. to use it on Windows, but on Linux I have permission to run Linux any way and any where and at any time that I want.

Or, to put it more simply: MPEG LA have absolutely no say on what I do with Linux, and as far as the video card itself goes, I have paid for permission to run that (via ATI). I think MPEG LA would come hard up against "double dipping" issues if they tried to charge me and ATI seperately.

Edited 2010-05-03 02:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: H.264 and Linux
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd May 2010 03:20 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: H.264 and Linux"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"The decoder would be running on the video card, and not in software (not in the OS software nor in the player software). I have paid for the video card, and therefore I have a license for the firmware that runs on the card. This would include the embedded H264 decoder.
I'm pretty sure that's actually false. Do you have a source to back that up? AFAIK, the license AMD paid only covers their ability to implement the hardware functionality, and does not cover your ability to actually use it. The idea is that whatever codec you use is what interacts with the hardware, and you need to seperately get a license for that software. I'll see if i can try to find my source for that, but i remember thinking it was pretty outrageous at the time which is why i remember it. "

Here we go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implied_license

Reference 1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implied_license#cite_note-0

"An incident to the purchase of any article, whether patented or unpatented, is the right to use and sell it...." United States v. Univis Lens Co., 316 U.S. 241, 249 (1942); see also Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co., 377 U.S. 476, 484 (1964) ("It is fundamental that sale of a patented article by the patentee or under his authority carries with it an 'implied license to use.'") (quoting Adams v. Burke, 84 U.S. (17 Wall.) 453, 456 (1873))."


My bold.

Edited 2010-05-03 03:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: H.264 and Linux
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd May 2010 05:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: H.264 and Linux"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"The decoder would be running on the video card, and not in software (not in the OS software nor in the player software). I have paid for the video card, and therefore I have a license for the firmware that runs on the card. This would include the embedded H264 decoder.
I'm pretty sure that's actually false. Do you have a source to back that up? AFAIK, the license AMD paid only covers their ability to implement the hardware functionality, and does not cover your ability to actually use it. The idea is that whatever codec you use is what interacts with the hardware, and you need to seperately get a license for that software. I'll see if i can try to find my source for that, but i remember thinking it was pretty outrageous at the time which is why i remember it. "

The implied license to use the graphics card features that anyone should get when they purchase a video card is what, I believe, efforts such as the following rely upon:

http://wiki.gnashdev.org/Hardware_Video_decoding

https://launchpad.net/~nvidia-vdpau/+archive/cutting-edge-multimedia

As long as they used the multimedia features embedded on the video card, open source software projects such as gnash, mplayer, vlc et al can be delivered as open source yet still achieve (licensed) cutting-edge hardware-accelerated multimedia performance on Linux systems. These software packages would be licensed for using h264 via the implied license that came with the purchase of the video card.

http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/vaapi

I think x264 may be the exception. AFAIK, being an ENCODER, that project doesn't use the video card hardware, and hence would still fall foul of requiring a separate patent license.

PS: the state of play for my own video cards, which are an ATI R610 and R710 respectively, is that support for this is still "Work In progress".

http://www.x.org/wiki/GalliumStatus

Hopefully it won't be too far away.

Edited 2010-05-03 05:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: H.264 and Linux
by nt_jerkface on Sat 1st May 2010 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE: H.264 and Linux"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Legally. You _can_ install H264, yes. It’s just software. But it’s not been licensed


Chrome will have the license, which means that Linux users will have a legal option in any country.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: H.264 and Linux
by Kroc on Sat 1st May 2010 22:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: H.264 and Linux"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Great. And developers will use H.264 to support all those Linux users, and no alternative browser on Linux will be viable because all of the content will be legally tied to Chrome.

What a great position to be in. It’s ActiveX all over again.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: H.264 and Linux
by nt_jerkface on Sat 1st May 2010 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: H.264 and Linux"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

There is a legitimate concern for niche platforms and alternative browsers but your statement makes it sound like Linux users will not have access to a legal H.264 decoder which is false.

Just clean it up a bit, that's all I'm asking. These types of formal statements usually require multiple drafts anyways.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: H.264 and Linux
by Kroc on Sat 1st May 2010 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: H.264 and Linux"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

That’s why I said "legally tied to Chrome". The reality is that many Linux users will just use x264 or somesuch, others will pay, but a web full of H.264 will only cause the options on Linux to narrow. If only Google can afford to provide a licenced decode to people for free, then what of Chromium, Firefox and so forth on Linux? Do they get the 'reduced web', just as it was in 2001?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: H.264 and Linux
by nt_jerkface on Sat 1st May 2010 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: H.264 and Linux"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

That’s why I said "legally tied to Chrome".


In the statement you wrote:


Since H264 cannot be installed legally on Linux in the U.S


which is a false. Do whatever you want with it but that's a false assertion.


If only Google can afford to provide a licenced decode to people for free, then what of Chromium, Firefox and so forth on Linux? Do they get the 'reduced web', just as it was in 2001?


You're certainly biased to the point where you can't even read a 2 sentence response without going into Theora defense mode.

I guess I'll repeat my response but with bold emphasis this time:
There is a legitimate concern for niche platforms and alternative browsers but your statement makes it sound like Linux users will not have access to a legal H.264 decoder which is false.

Some of us are in the middle on this issue and would like honesty from both sides.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: H.264 and Linux
by Kroc on Sat 1st May 2010 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: H.264 and Linux"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I made the mistake of incorrectly encompassing all types of H264 on Linux, forgetting the paid instances. My previous comment was a rebuttal the discussion thread only. I’ll update the article.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: H.264 and Linux
by Morgan on Sun 2nd May 2010 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: H.264 and Linux"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

And what of Haiku users? BSD users? (god help them) Solaris users?

There are more than the "big three" operating systems out there.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: H.264 and Linux
by ZacharyM on Wed 5th May 2010 03:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: H.264 and Linux"
ZacharyM Member since:
2007-05-28

It's the same as in any form of life, government, school, society, the majority always is the one that receives favorable policies and or materials.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: H.264 and Linux
by lemur2 on Sun 2nd May 2010 23:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: H.264 and Linux"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Legally. You _can_ install H264, yes. It’s just software. But it’s not been licensed
Chrome will have the license, which means that Linux users will have a legal option in any country. "

Even Firefox on Linux can legally play H264 by passing the decoding function over to the hardware decoder on the video card (assuming the system has such).

This is, however, not the point. The primary reasons for not allowing web standards to be encumbered with royalties, as is the W3C policy (W3C being the authors of the HTML5 standard), have to do with the open provision of video by the servers. Anyone and everyone should be able to provide video on the web, there should be no barriers to entry in the form of royalties for use of the codec.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: H.264 and Linux
by lemur2 on Sun 2nd May 2010 23:20 UTC in reply to "RE: H.264 and Linux"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Legally. You _can_ install H264, yes. It’s just software. But it’s not been licenced, and we are talking about the RIAA’s next of kin who wields the power of a plethora of powerful companies with vested interests. The law is not interested in what geeks believe to be morally right or wrong, the law is written and the law (and the money) is on the MPEG-LA’s side.


What about the H264 decoder that is embedded in my Linux system's ATI video card?

http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-radeon-hd-4000/...
2nd generation Unified Video Decoder (UVD 2)
Enabling hardware decode acceleration of H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2


Having legally purchased the card, surely I have a valid license to use the functions therein?

Reply Score: 1

RE: H.264 and Linux
by mrsteveman1 on Sat 1st May 2010 21:55 UTC in reply to "H.264 and Linux"
mrsteveman1 Member since:
2009-11-10

Since H264 cannot be installed legally on Linux in the U.S. (and other likely soon-to-be-participating nations)

That's not true, you can install any codec you want in Linux. Linux users at the least will have Chrome which will have an H.264 decoder.


You can also buy a licensed codec from Fluendo, which will work in anything that uses gstreamer. They support h.264 in addition to all the others.

http://www.fluendo.com/shop/product/complete-set-of-playback-plugin...

Of course, that might not be an option for some people, but someone will figure all this stuff out.

Reply Score: 1

Great Work !
by hexplor on Sat 1st May 2010 21:51 UTC
hexplor
Member since:
2005-07-30

For years i have been reading osnews and i think it's the one of the most valuable websites on the web. I love reading Thom Holwerda editorials because it mostly represent my point of view at many things. Rest of the staff is also doin awesome work keeping us informed.
Again guys, keep up great job and thanks !

Edited 2010-05-01 21:52 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Great Work !
by rebel787 on Sat 1st May 2010 21:59 UTC in reply to "Great Work !"
rebel787 Member since:
2007-01-13

Agreed sir.
This is also one of the best looking sites on the net.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Great Work !
by Rehdon on Sun 2nd May 2010 09:06 UTC in reply to "Great Work !"
Rehdon Member since:
2005-07-06

Ditto. I sort of stopped replying to comments due to time (and troll) concerns, but I always come to OSNews daily to have my fix of OS related news ;)

Rehdon

Reply Score: 2

It is not only H.264
by shotsman on Sat 1st May 2010 21:52 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

It is all the other Patent Trolls out there that are actively stopping progress.
But Hey, this is nothing new. Go an read the accounts of the spats that 'Boulton & Watt' had with Richard Trethivick around 1800 over their patents on the steam engine. Eventually the cornishman prevailed and his improvements to the Steam Engine allowed the railways to be developed.

But things are different now. The world is a different place and frankly, the judiciary can't understand the nuances of say one pixel shader over another. It is not their fault. They are skilled in the law not pixel shader design.

The whole IP & Patent system is broken. Actually, it is more than broken, it is in its deathbed. It can't go on much longer. The ONLY people who benefit from the current system are the lawyers. The SCO Case is ample example of that.

Take the Mobile Phone Industry. Here we have everyone suing everyone else. One company buys a bit of kit from another. The original maker of that bit of kit has properly licensed some technology from a 3rd party. Now we are seeing that the person who bought the bit of kit has to 'pay off' the licensee in order to use the bit of kit they have legally purchased. This is just plain crazy.
Just think of the mayhem if this logic was applied to Car Makers and joe public who has to not only pay the maker for their car but make payments to EVERY company with a bit of kit in the car as a separate transaction. Then is a bit goes wrong and has to be replaced you have to pay everyone again. This is just plain LOCO and can't be allowed to continue.
IANAL etc but I agree with the OSNEWS editors take on this even though I might not agree with everything they post but that is life.

Reply Score: 4

nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

The editors believe that the spearheading of H264 into HTML5 is a joint attempt by the MPEG-LA, Microsoft and Apple to prevent new business models

Google is the one that teamed up with Apple and pushed H.264 to be included in HTML5. MS just recently made a decision to side with Google and Apple.

Google is the one that has the most influential video site.

Is it really that hard to condemn Google for something?

Reply Score: 6

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

The editors believe that the spearheading of H264 into HTML5 is a joint attempt by the MPEG-LA, Microsoft and Apple to prevent new business models

Google is the one that teamed up with Apple and pushed H.264 to be included in HTML5. MS just recently made a decision to side with Google and Apple.

Google is the one that has the most influential video site.

Is it really that hard to condemn Google for something?

To be fair, Google is included in the "MPEG-LA" structure. But you're right, I often miss fome anti-google rants here at OSNews. Let's be fair and bash equally Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Google, the RIAA, the MPAA, AND, of course, the USPTO ! ^^

But I guess that if I want it this way, I just can't put the blame on the overtaxed OSnews team and have to write such a rant myself (which I did ^^).

Moreover, I see the problem here : Google are smart enough to stay hidden. Microsoft and Apple do countless horrors every month, which are very often reported here, but it's hard to find many examples of Google evilness.

I can think of
-> Trying to serve every single human need in a monopolistic fashion by always opening new services and using their reputation and monopolistic position to lure people into using them.
-> Using H.264 on Youtube
-> Using closed-source software in android and in various places of their search engine
-> Trying to put pressure on governments, in a way no viler than banks (e.g. China)

And... well... that's all. While Apple are dangerous because they are loved, Google are dangerous because they are smart and know how to hide horrors under a pile of gold (GSoC, buying ON2) well...

Edited 2010-05-02 07:01 UTC

Reply Score: 1

I like OSnews
by kragil on Sat 1st May 2010 21:57 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

I just noticed that you could provide more of this background info. Like how h264 will affect alternative operating systems.
Maybe that would tone the discussions down a bit.

More on topic: The bias is just natural. Most articles are written by Thom (and Kroc) and so it is just natural that the opinions on this site are not really broad.

I still like it though. Very good signal to noise ratio.

Reply Score: 2

First has bin used before
by righard on Sat 1st May 2010 23:38 UTC
righard
Member since:
2007-12-26

http://www.osnews.com/thread?376897 (Though it was not the first post)

Reply Score: 2

RE: First has bin used before
by Kroc on Sat 1st May 2010 23:52 UTC in reply to "First has bin used before"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Very meta, and it still got second. Must have missed the post captions in my SQL.

Reply Score: 1

Yep
by marcp on Sun 2nd May 2010 00:22 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

I think there's a merit in this case: you will use any technology that will be affordable and usable for you and as long as it will be effortless. Sounds reasonable to me.

Reply Score: 1

Origional articles are the best
by RIchard James13 on Sun 2nd May 2010 02:01 UTC
RIchard James13
Member since:
2007-10-26

As long as you are forthcoming with your bias, I don't think the bias matters. It is only when people hide their bias that it is deceitful.

I have read OSNEWS for years and will continue to do so. However I would like to see much more OS news.

Reply Score: 1

Good Article
by DrillSgt on Sun 2nd May 2010 02:29 UTC
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

Very nicely written, and yes the web definitely needs to be kept open.

I am at a loss however as even in this article people seem to think that MPEG-LA is nothing more than Microsoft and Apple. The patents related to H.264 that Microsoft and Apple hold are miniscule. The majority of those patents are owned by British/French/German/Dutch/Japanese/Swedish companies.

Basically, we are all royally screwed as this applies to wherever the IP is held, which is in all of those countries.

Reply Score: 2

Where is the rant against Google?
by MollyC on Sun 2nd May 2010 03:28 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Google has monopoly power to make any video codec the one and only standard for HTML5. Microsoft's and Apple's power in this regard pales to Google's. This editorial lacks credibility by pointing the finger at Apple and Microsoft while letting Google, who has monopoly power in this area, off the hook.

Also, can you explain how H.264 winning would cost this site money in 2016?

Finally, is there something preventing super wealthy Linux distributors like Red Hat and Ubuntu (the latter of which happens to be the most popular Linux distro for non-enterprise use), from licensing H.264 and bundling it with their distros like Apple and Microsoft do for their OSes and the users of their OSes? What, does GPL prevent it? Or are Red Hat and Ubuntu simply too cheap?

Reply Score: 3

smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Google has monopoly power to make any video codec the one and only standard for HTML5. Microsoft's and Apple's power in this regard pales to Google's. This editorial lacks credibility by pointing the finger at Apple and Microsoft while letting Google, who has monopoly power in this area, off the hook.

Let's give Google a couple more months, and see what happens. If they start pushing VP8 then I think we can give them a pass. If not, then they definitely belong here as well.

Also, can you explain how H.264 winning would cost this site money in 2016?

The licensing terms are allowed to be changed in 2016. Granted, no one has specifically said they will start charging sites to display h264 video, but it's pretty obvious to everyone involved that that's exactly what will happen if the codec has a monopoly at that point. This whole licensing group's business model is based on a drug dealers - you give them the product for free until they're hooked, then start charging them when it's too tough for them to walk away.

Finally, is there something preventing super wealthy Linux distributors like Red Hat and Ubuntu (the latter of which happens to be the most popular Linux distro for non-enterprise use), from licensing H.264 and bundling it with their distros like Apple and Microsoft do for their OSes and the users of their OSes? What, does GPL prevent it? Or are Red Hat and Ubuntu simply too cheap?

I don't believe the licensing group has been willing to allow unlimited distribution. So Ubuntu could license the codec, only if they controlled the means of distribution, meaning that no one else would be allowed to copy an Ubuntu CD and give it to anyone else. That's why Chrome has h264 included in it but Chromium does not, even though they're the same codebase and Google would love to support the same video in both. So it's not really the GPL that doesn't allow it, it's the licensing group which doesn't allow it. Also, I think you're underestimating exactly how expensive this would be. Think of just how many millions of installations of Ubuntu there are, and the fact that Canonical is just giving it away for free. They are a business and trying to make money - rather unsuccessfully so far. That's one of their main concerns is becoming profitable, and spending tens of millions on a codec that most of their users will probably just pirate anyway likely wouldn't make a lot of sense to them.

Reply Score: 4

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Let's give Google a couple more months, and see what happens. If they start pushing VP8 then I think we can give them a pass. If not, then they definitely belong here as well.


Google is the abusive boyfriend of the FOSS world.

You do realize that Apple could never have pushed H.264 on their own, right? It was Google and Apple that teamed up to push H.264 well before MS had taken a position.

Here's some questions for you Google defenders:

Why didn't Google push to have both specs in HTML5? Why were they so adamant about pushing H.264 over Theora? Why didn't they suggest that VP8 be considered?

If they are for open codecs then why have they moved closer to Flash in the last few years?

Action speak louder than words and it is clear that Google likes Flash and plans on keeping it around. Opening VP8 improves their image and provides a long play against H.264.

Let's not forget that Google is going into the video rental business which means they will want to keep using Flash over HTML5 since it offers content protection.

Reply Score: 2

smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Google is the abusive boyfriend of the FOSS world.

LOL. Well, ok, it's somewhat true. On the other hand, most of those other companies just beat on us all the time, so at least google occasionally says he's sorry and gives us some flowers afterward.

You do realize that Apple could never have pushed H.264 on their own, right? It was Google and Apple that teamed up to push H.264 well before MS had taken a position.

Well, I think Apple would have still pushed for it. Who knows how successful they would have been - so far they actually seem to be making impressive strides towards getting rid of Flash and moving to HTML5 video, and they're doing that almost by themselves. Google was an important ally, obviously.

Here's some questions for you Google defenders:

Ok

Why didn't Google push to have both specs in HTML5? Why were they so adamant about pushing H.264 over Theora? Why didn't they suggest that VP8 be considered?

Was Google even trying to buy ON2 back then? I don't know when that whole deal went down, but I know if just finalized a few months ago. HTML5 video spec seems like it was discussed quite a bit earlier. Theora also wasn't half as good as it currently is. Not that I'm saying I love the way that Google went, I think they made a mistake.

If they are for open codecs then why have they moved closer to Flash in the last few years?

I'm not sure why you link the two. There's no reason Flash can't play Theora video, after all. And like you said, it offers content protection so it definitely isn't going away any time soon.

Action speak louder than words and it is clear that Google likes Flash and plans on keeping it around. Opening VP8 improves their image and provides a long play against H.264.

You could be right about VP8, I'm not sure what their plans are, exactly. That was what my previous post was saying, let's give them a month or two to find out what actions they will take.

Everyone keeps complaining that they are moving closer to Flash. Why? Using the same logic, you could say they're moving closer to Theora as well. After all, when Chrome first came out it didn't include either Flash or Theora, and now it includes both. My take on including Flash is that it's all about security. That's why they setup the whole complicated sandboxing tech in chrome, and along with javascript performance it's 1 of the 2 reasons Chrome was even created in the first place. Adobe has shown themselves to be incapable of managing security updates properly, so google decided to do it for them. That's good for the web, not bad. As long as it doesn't make developers use flash more because it's pre-installed, of course. But developers already do that anyway, and i don't see this as encouraging more use.

Honestly, the whole google is evil argument reminds of George Bush's, "you're either with us or against us" speech. I think Google is both. They're in between. They see benefits of going both directions, and i think they'll continue to try to reach out to both sides as much as possible. Let's see what they do with VP8, if they don't make a major move with that (converting youtube) then we can say they've chosen sides. Not until then, though.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Well, I think Apple would have still pushed for it. Who knows how successful they would have been - so far they actually seem to be making impressive strides towards getting rid of Flash and moving to HTML5 video, and they're doing that almost by themselves.

Well a big part of their success is from being able to provide H.264 YouTube videos to their idevices. But more importantly the W3C would have adopted Theora if there wasn't a divide among the browsers. Apple standing alone would not be a divide. Furthermore Google has the influence to push any codec.


Was Google even trying to buy ON2 back then? I don't know when that whole deal went down, but I know if just finalized a few months ago.

They acquired ON2 last August and have been pushing H.264 since then.

I'm not sure why you link the two. There's no reason Flash can't play Theora video, after all. And like you said, it offers content protection so it definitely isn't going away any time soon.


No I meant if they were really for open codecs that don't encumber alternative platforms then they wouldn't be moving closer to Flash.

That was what my previous post was saying, let's give them a month or two to find out what actions they will take.

And that's what they want people to do. Just keep waiting as H.264 gets entrenched.


My take on including Flash is that it's all about security.

But not including Flash is even better for security. If they really cared about Flash security then they would have worked towards a Flash replacement when they bought YouTube.


Honestly, the whole google is evil argument reminds of George Bush's, "you're either with us or against us" speech. I think Google is both.


I wouldn't call any tech company evil. Child molesters are evil.

The vast majority of computer users just want video and don't care about how it works. Conflicts of interest in tech are almost always related to a minority that has needs and desires that run counter to the majority. Those needs may sometimes work in the favor of the majority in the long run but they still conflict with the interests of companies. It's really nothing to call anyone evil over. Technological development is chiefly a private enterprise so these conflicts should be expected.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

They acquired ON2 last August and have been pushing H.264 since then.


This is not true. The acquisition of On2 by Google was completed only earlier this year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On2_Technologies

On February 17th 2010, stockholders of On2 Technologies voted to approve the merger at Google's increased offer of $133M.


Google have only had since approximately that date to do a patent search on all of On2 codecs.

Recently, Google have been talking with Mozilla and Adobe, and the speculation is that these talks are about opening VP8.

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/04/google-planning-to-...

Perhaps the patent search has been finished by now.

Also, from the above article, Google have been funding Theora.

Funding from Google and Mozilla has helped to improve Theora considerably


Another Theora codec funded by Google:
http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/04/google-boosts-open-...

Edited 2010-05-02 23:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Why didn't Google push to have both specs in HTML5? Why were they so adamant about pushing H.264 over Theora? Why didn't they suggest that VP8 be considered?


Google didn't push H264, Apple did. Google said only that Theora was too expensive in terms of its quality-per-bit, which was true at the time they said it (June 2009).

http://lwn.net/Articles/340132/
Google has implemented H.264 and Ogg Theora in Chrome, but cannot provide the H.264 codec license to third-party distributors of Chromium, and have indicated a belief that Ogg Theora's quality-per-bit is not yet suitable for the volume handled by YouTube.


Google didn't acquire On2 until Feb 2010, so in June 2009 they had no control of On2 and hence no right to suggest VP8 at that time.

In September 2009 Theora 1.1 was released with significant improvements in quality-per-bit, and Google have been more or less silent on the matter since then.

If they are for open codecs then why have they moved closer to Flash in the last few years?


Flash <> H264. Flash has, in the past, used VP6. I suspect that Google may be talking to Adobe right at this time with a view to get Flash to support both H264 and VP8, possibly Theora as well. They are certainly talking also with Mozilla, and Mozilla will definitely not support H264. Mozilla already support Theora, and Mozilla would very likely support VP8 if Google were to open it up.

Edited 2010-05-02 23:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Google didn't push H264, Apple did. Google said only that Theora was too expensive in terms of its quality-per-bit, which was true at the time they said it (June 2009).


What you're missing here is that Google is a member of W3C and was lobbying behind the scenes. You're just focusing on pubic statements

"After an inordinate amount of discussions, both in public and privately, on the situation regarding codecs for video and audio in HTML5, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that there is no suitable codec that all vendors are willing to implement and ship," Hickson wrote
http://infoworld.com/d/developer-world/browser-vendor-squabbles-cau...

As I said before Apple couldn't have pushed it alone.


Google didn't acquire On2 until Feb 2010, so in June 2009 they had no control of On2 and hence no right to suggest VP8 at that time.


No that's when the sale was finalized and says nothing of their options before that date. Why haven't they at least suggested that the W3C wait and consider it?

There's also no reason to believe that they plan on converting their YouTube videos to VP8. What likely happened is that they looked at VP8 and decided that it wasn't an adequate alternative to H.264 but had potential. That is why they are going to open source it and perhaps use it in the future or at least as a way to ensure that MPEG-LA fees don't go up.

It's the tech press that is suggesting that it be used in HTML5, not Google.

Edited 2010-05-03 16:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" Google didn't push H264, Apple did. Google said only that Theora was too expensive in terms of its quality-per-bit, which was true at the time they said it (June 2009).
What you're missing here is that Google is a member of W3C and was lobbying behind the scenes. You're just focusing on pubic statements "After an inordinate amount of discussions, both in public and privately, on the situation regarding codecs for video and audio in HTML5, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that there is no suitable codec that all vendors are willing to implement and ship," Hickson wrote http://infoworld.com/d/developer-world/browser-vendor-squabbles-cau... "

That is not pushing H.264, that is just admitting that Apple and Microsoft had mounted a campaign against Theora, and were absolutely refusing to support it on their browsers.

Google's (probably temporary) compromise was to include both H.264 and Theora in Chrome, whilst at the same time pointing out that H.264 cannot be the actual STANDARD because browsers such as its own Chromium are not permitted to ship it. This goes directly against the W3C policy, and therefore, the point that you somehow persistently continue to blithely ignore, remains as true and as pertinent as it ever was: that point being that H.264 CANNOT be the standard codec for the web (i.e the codec specified by HTML5). It goes against the whole tennet of web standards.

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

As said, we welcome different viewpoints on the matter. If yourself, or anybody would like to write an article about Google’s role in H264, we would be interested. Personally, I’m waiting for an announcement regarding VP8, or the lawsuits to begin before making judgement on Google. For now, I cannot see it being in Google’s interest to be tied to a codec that they will have to pay for every single view of every video.

Edited 2010-05-02 10:45 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Exactly.

Every company that matters in this regard has a day of reckoning, the one decision that shows where their loyalties lie. Apple has always been clear, and for Microsoft, it came earlier this week when they said that not only would they support H264 - but they'd make it the ONLY possibility. You can't use DirectShow/Media Foundation.

Google's day of reckoning is still to come. Some might say that Google's HTML5 version using H264 and/or its dismissal of Theora more than a year ago says it all, but both of those are irrelevant. Theora was indeed simply not good enough back then, and it's clear to anyone that the HTML5 variant of YouTube is a placeholder. It sucks, and no real work has been put into it.

Google isn't mentioned alongside Apple and Microsoft because it is simply not clear where its loyalties lie. Google is just as "evil" as those other two, but when it comes to the isolated aspects of open source and open standards, Google is miles and miles better.

That, combined with Google most likely not wanting to be dependant on its two biggest competitors when it comes to video (Apple/MS in the MPEG-LA) leads to the logical conclusion Google is going to open up VP8 and switch YouTube over to it.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Google isn't mentioned alongside Apple and Microsoft because it is simply not clear where its loyalties lie.


Pushing H.264 with Apple against Mozilla and Opera is not a clear loyalty?

Who has done more to push H.264? Google or Microsoft? Who has the #1 video site that can push any codec?

So when is Google going to get condemnation here? A few years after VP8 is open and it finally dawns on the FOSS crowd that Google never considered it to be a serious contender? Oh but by that time Google will make a comment about how they are want to eventually replace H.264 and the FOSS crowd will forget that it was Google that was the major backer in the first place.

It wasn't MPEG-LA that pushed H.264 to be used in HTML5. Their business is in Blu-rays and digital on demand, not random web videos. It was Google and Apple that pushed H.264 over the concerns of Mozilla and Opera. But I'm sure this will be forgotten at some point and everyone will remember the incident as a MS/Apple/MPEG-LA alliance. The abusive FOSS boyfriend will of course be given another chance because when he puts on that penguin tank top with those ripped muscles you forget all about time he slept with your cousin. He'll be honest this time! He swears!

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

For now, I cannot see it being in Google’s interest to be tied to a codec that they will have to pay for every single view of every video.


It isn't per view for web distribution, it's based on audience size and it caps out at 10k a year. Relative to their profits it's pocket change to them. But I do think that Google doesn't want to be stuck paying whatever MPEG-LA wants in the future. That's why they purchased ON2, it's more of a long play.

If they were really concerned with H.264 fees then they wouldn't have pushed for it to be the default codec in HTML5. They're the ones that have been trying to push H264 while Mozilla and Opera are the groups that are concerned with the licensing costs.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sun 2nd May 2010 13:12 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

If some people here are expecting an unbiased 'source' then they're truly deluding themselves.

Firstly, there is no such thing as an unbiased or an objective reporting of the facts - we all, consciously or subconsciously, through our own perception of the world, view things through a particular lens. To demand 'unbiased' stories is just delusional at best. I don't agree with everything the editors say but atleast they have the backbone to say what they mean and mean what they say - that is more than I say for those who ridicule them and offer no positive contribution of their own.

Secondly lets cut the editors here some slack, as far as I am aware, no one here is being paid - this is a hobby for the various editors to do, so come on guys, cut them some slack. If it weren't for them running the website, posting stories, doing the occasional rant - there would be one less website on the net providing some decent conversation. So I am happy that osnews.com is here and Thom, Kroc etc I'm happy with the 'bias' that exists because I've yet to hear those who scream 'biased' offer their time and energy to this website.

Thirdly, regarding h264 versus Theora; life sucks and the underlying issue should be the reforming of the patent system. If the current system allows h264 to reign supreme because the MPEG-LA are able to sue regarding supposed patent violation of Theora then shouldn't the anger be vented at the game rather than the players? after all, if it weren't for the patent system right now, the MPEG-LA wouldn't be able to throw around their patent-weight in the market place and scare the living crap out of software, hardware and media companies alike.

Edited 2010-05-02 13:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by boldingd on Mon 3rd May 2010 17:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Firstly, there is no such thing as an unbiased or an objective reporting of the facts - we all, consciously or subconsciously, through our own perception of the world, view things through a particular lens. To demand 'unbiased' stories is just delusional at best. I don't agree with everything the editors say but atleast they have the backbone to say what they mean and mean what they say - that is more than I say for those who ridicule them and offer no positive contribution of their own.


Bias is not a binary quantity; it has more states then "present" and "absent." It is a quantity to be minimized: small amounts of bias are acceptable, particularly when disclosed up-front, but large amounts of bias can have a serious negative affect on the quality of a news outlet. Hurtling past the upper limit for allowable bias is one of the major reasons that I consider Fox News a worthless news source: there's a pretty clear demonstration that large amounts of bias, even disclosed bias, can destroy a news source.

Not that I'm saying OS News is that biased -- faaaaar from it. I'm just saying, let's not delude ourselves into believing that bias is just fine in any quantity, so long as it's disclosed up-front.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Mon 3rd May 2010 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Bias is not a binary quantity; it has more states then "present" and "absent." It is a quantity to be minimized: small amounts of bias are acceptable, particularly when disclosed up-front, but large amounts of bias can have a serious negative affect on the quality of a news outlet. Hurtling past the upper limit for allowable bias is one of the major reasons that I consider Fox News a worthless news source: there's a pretty clear demonstration that large amounts of bias, even disclosed bias, can destroy a news source.

Not that I'm saying OS News is that biased -- faaaaar from it. I'm just saying, let's not delude ourselves into believing that bias is just fine in any quantity, so long as it's disclosed up-front.


But the reality is that OSNews.com has never marketed itself as an unbiased news source. Every article written is always from the authors own opinion so it is to be expected that he is looking at it from his point of view. Maybe if you can show me anywhere that the given editors have claimed to be unbiased because so far I haven't found any claims by them to back up such a position.

Regarding Fox, the problem is that they interpolate opinion with reporting thus resulting in this goulash of information that is bound together which isn't news but opinion made up as news. In fact, truth be told, Fox do very little reporting of their own and actually rely on the associated press for much of the information - what they do is provide an overlay of opinion they market as 'analysis' for the unwashed masses.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by boldingd on Tue 4th May 2010 20:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

But the reality is that OSNews.com has never marketed itself as an unbiased news source. Every article written is always from the authors own opinion so it is to be expected that he is looking at it from his point of view. Maybe if you can show me anywhere that the given editors have claimed to be unbiased because so far I haven't found any claims by them to back up such a position.


Yes, I know. And I think that's perfectly acceptable: the level of bias here, the vast majority of the time, is well withing reasonable limits. My point was, that the OS News editors shouldn't just completely throw caution to the wind and become the Fox News of tech reporting. Some bias is O.K., but there is an upper limit.

Reply Score: 2

Identifying Bias for Dummies
by BallmerKnowsBest on Sun 2nd May 2010 15:16 UTC
BallmerKnowsBest
Member since:
2008-06-02

For most of us, the concepts of bias and motivation are complex and highly-debatable. Not if you're a Maclot or a Freetard, though; in that case, there are few simple questions that will determine whether or not someone is biased.

1. Has the author/site ever written an opinion you disagree with?

2. Has the author/site ever reported positive news about a company/product/whatever that you dislike?

3. Has the author/site ever reported negative news about a company/product/whatever that you like?

If you can answer "yes" to any of those questions, then it's time to start flinging around the accusations of bias (Freetards & Maclots only, adults need not apply).

Remember, no news site has ever posted an item just because they think its newsworthy. No, when a site posts an item, you should assume that every single person involved in that site agrees with and advocates the content of that item 100%.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Identifying Bias for Dummies
by boldingd on Mon 3rd May 2010 17:55 UTC in reply to "Identifying Bias for Dummies"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

-1 troll

Reply Score: 2

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

-1 troll


Why so cranky, little fella? Hmmm, looking over your posting history, I guess I hit a little too close to home!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kvarbanov
by kvarbanov on Mon 3rd May 2010 08:44 UTC
kvarbanov
Member since:
2008-06-16

Nice article. Personally I have never thought about bias, it's just that the H264, Apple and some other hot potato news are always actual and moving around the sites. Whenever there's a human writing something, this is a position, either personal or a group one, unless it's a pure citation of a text or facts, so I wouldn't judge anyone.
Finally, a some local slang speech : "whatever topic they are talking about, be aware that they are talking for money" ;) ))))))) It's about the software and hardware giants, I don't really believe in coprorations' openness and altruistic intentions, it's all about money, so sometimes it gets boring.

Reply Score: 1

What about Lynx?
by mirabilos on Mon 3rd May 2010 20:43 UTC
mirabilos
Member since:
2008-03-18

>We have regular users of the site on BeOS/Haiku,
>Amiga OS, RISC OS and a myriad of niche platforms and
>browsers. We want all users to be able to participate
>on the site and access our content.

Please take care of Lynx then. It is not possible to
read all content with Lynx, and commenting is espe-
cially impossible. There are redirection loops one
encounters, too.

I’m using Lynx on MirBSD normally for everything,
so your statement gave me a really good laugh… did
you know I stopped reading /. (except for part of its
RSS feed available on symlink.ch as Symbox) when they
stopped working with Lynx?

Reply Score: 1

RE: What about Lynx?
by Kroc on Tue 4th May 2010 13:17 UTC in reply to "What about Lynx?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The goal with OSn5 is for it to work fully without JavaScript (JS will be used as a layer-on enhancement) so Lynx/Elinks support will return.

HTML5 and better semantics throughout should improve the reading experience on these browsers too.

Reply Score: 1