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.
Permalink for comment 425043
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[7]: ...
by lemur2 on Mon 17th May 2010 03:02 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: ..."
Member since:

AVC licensing by the MPEG-LA solely centers around distribution: distribution of content and distribution of codecs.
Both kinds of distribution have the same terms: Free of charge under 100,000 copies per year.

Let's say I wanna give my 5 friends videos of my family vacation. When I do it, I'm still way below the 100,000 limit.

However, according to Allen Harkness, Director, Global Licensing, MPEG LA:
"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."

This means that if the (perhaps Chinese) OEM of the digital camera or mobile smartphone which you used to take your family videos did not pay for a license, then you are liable.

It also means that if any of your friends watch your family video with decoder software where the author of the player has not paid a license (such as ffmpeg/gstreamer, which may be embedded say in an android mobile phone) then your friends are liable.

This type of liability, where the persons (end users) who end up being liable have absolutely no way to check if they are licensed or not, means that H.264 is in reality totally unsuitable for the very type of activity which you give as an example.

Edited 2010-05-17 03:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2