OpenH264 in Fedora

Michael Catanzaro mcatanzaro at
Sat Nov 2 20:42:47 UTC 2013

On Sat, 2013-11-02 at 20:45 +0100, Florian Weimer wrote:
> I expect that the actual licensing terms will only cover end users for
> their own "personal, non-commercial use" (the language used in the end
> user licensing terms for existing platform codecs in Windows and
> Flash).  These terms will be worded so narrowly that developing WebRTC
> applications that use the H.264 codec—or just using the codec for
> business purposes (like placing a video call to one of your coworkers)
> may need a separate patent license.

Cisco is promising a traditional free license because they're trying to
thwart MPEG LA's licensing scheme. The MPEG license required to safely
mass-distribute Cisco's codec in binary form is an orthogonal issue that
Cisco cannot control. Cisco is clearly content to control distribution

Firefox will be using this codec for all purposes, not just WebRTC.
Fedora has to be proactive in patching it out if it is unwanted.

Interesting read:

> Technically, the Cisco codec will be distributed as a separate,
> browser-assisted download, like Flash (which, curiously, is used today
> mostly for its H.264 capabilities), so there is nothing that Fedora
> can do.
I'm not sure about that. Maybe/probably legal would approve a package
that downloads the licensed codec from Cisco's website, for example.
(The question of whether that is desirable for Fedora is a separate
matter.) And if such a package is not approved, it seems extremely
unlikely that Firefox should be allowed to do so.
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