OpenH264 in Fedora

Florian Weimer fw at
Sat Nov 2 21:33:37 UTC 2013

* Michael Catanzaro:

> 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.

That's not how I would summarize their activites.  Cisco tries very
hard to put WebRTC into MPEG LA's grasp.

> Firefox will be using this codec for all purposes, not just WebRTC.

Assuming that it's feasible.  The decoder might be crippled to SD or
of poor general quality, or the patent license might be restricted to
WebRTC (which I consider quite likely, conbined with the "personal,
non-commercial use" restriction already mentioned).  Cisco only said
that it would be "free for use in WebRTC".

> Fedora has to be proactive in patching it out if it is unwanted.


>> 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.

The Firefox Flash download assistant hasn't been patched out, but it
does't work on x86_64.

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