Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Oct 2013 23:33 UTC, submitted by drcoldfoot
Multimedia, AV

Remember the whole H.264 thing? Cisco just solved it for us - more or less.

The industry has been divided on the choice of a common video codec for some time, namely because the industry standard - H.264 - requires royalty payments to MPEG LA. Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco is making a bold move to take concerns about these payments off the table.

We plan to open-source our H.264 codec, and to provide it as a binary module that can be downloaded for free from the Internet. Cisco will not pass on our MPEG LA licensing costs for this module, and based on the current licensing environment, this will effectively make H.264 free for use in WebRTC.

Cisco will release the code of its H.264 codec under the BSD license, and will also make binaries available for just about every possible platform. Cisco will pay all the licensing costs - over the coming decade, this will cost them a whopping $65 million, illustrating just how expensive H.264 is, and how unrealistic it was to expect it to become a standard without a free implementation being available for everyone to use. It has to be noted that both end users and developers can make use of this.

Mozilla has already announced it will implement this codec into Firefox. All this is great, but it doesn't really address the issue in the long term - the next generation of codecs is coming, and once they arrive, this whole process starts all over again. Will another sugar daddy step up by that time?

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That's a whopper, alright
by jared_wilkes on Thu 31st Oct 2013 12:36 UTC
jared_wilkes
Member since:
2011-04-25

Cisco will pay all the licensing costs - over the coming decade, this will cost them a whopping $65 million, illustrating just how expensive H.264 is, and how unrealistic it was to expect it to become a standard without a free implementation being available for everyone to use.


Are we really claiming $6.5 million annually is "whopping", "expensive", and "unrealistic"? Remember: this is to serve 10s of millions to an INFINITE number of clients at zero additional cost because Cisco (and several other players -- INCLUDING GOOGLE) are most assuredly already at the capped figure.

Will another sugar daddy step up by that time?


Will the free software supporters realize that they should be directing this question at Google? After all, they're probably spending a similar rate on VP8 ( http://www.osnews.com/story/26849/Google_called_the_MPEG-LA_s_bluff... ) despite Thom's claims to the contrary and certainly spending more by developing the loser VP-series... but that cost is sunk in a loser, none of that cost actually goes into supporting the superior, dominant, and de facto H.264/H.265 codec.

Edited 2013-10-31 12:55 UTC

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