Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 16th May 2010 12:52 UTC, submitted by mrsteveman1
Internet & Networking Mozilla, sticking to its ideals of the open web, decided long ago that support for the patent-encumbered H264 codec would not be included in any of its products. Not only is H264 wholly incompatible with the open web and Free software, it is also incredibly expensive. Mozilla could use one of the open source implementations, but those are not licensed, and the MPEG-LA has been quite clear in that it will sue those who encode or decode H264 content without a license. Software patents, however, are only valid in some parts of the world, so an enterprising developer has started a project that was sure to come eventually: Firefox builds with H264 support.
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RE[7]: ...
by lemur2 on Mon 17th May 2010 00:27 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: ..."
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

You asked me for a source, you don't provide one for your claim? Hilarious.

Show me an actual press release by the MPEG-LA that states that non-distributing home users are about to be sued by the MPEG-LA and show me how that would be compatible the the licensing terms.


http://lwn.net/Articles/371751/
In response to your specific question, under the Licenses royalties are paid on all MPEG-4 Visual/AVC products of like functionality, and the Licenses do not make any distinction for products offered for free (whether open source or otherwise). But, I do note that the Licenses addresses this issue by including annual minimum thresholds below which no royalties are payable in order to encourage adoption and minimize the impact on lower volume users. In addition, the Licenses also include maximum annual royalty caps to provide more cost predictability for larger volume users.

I would also like to mention that while our Licenses are not concluded by End Users, anyone in the product chain has liability if an end product is unlicensed. Therefore, a royalty paid for an end product by the end product supplier would render the product licensed in the hands of the End User, but where a royalty has not been paid, such a product remains unlicensed and any downstream users/distributors would have liability.


My bold. This was discussed quite broadly at the time:

http://blog.christophersmart.com/2010/02/01/mpeg-la-confirms-h-264-...

http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roc/archives/2010/01/h264_licensing....

http://www.osnews.com/story/22828/MPEG-LA_Will_Not_Change_h264_Lice...

Fortunately, there is a H.264 decoder embodied in the video card of a good number of systems in use today. Given that people have purchased their video cards, and that the supplier of the video card has paid the license fee, then end users have a license to use that h.264 decoder (embedded within their video card) even if they happen to run an open source OS.

Edited 2010-05-17 00:37 UTC

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