OpenH264 in Fedora

Bruno Wolff III bruno at
Mon Nov 4 17:28:21 UTC 2013

On Mon, Nov 04, 2013 at 15:46:07 +0100,
   Alberto Ruiz <aruiz at> wrote:
>While I agree that we shouldn't silently install non-free software (and
>I'm sure Mozilla doesn't want to either), saying that they are
>effectively non-free is a bit inaccurate, the _binaries_ are not
>re-distributable under US jurisdiction, access to the source code is
>granted, which makes them non-US, the software is free (the source
>license does grant 4 freedoms). There are plenty of countries where
>software patents are not valid making it perfectly fine.

If you don't need to worry about the patents, then x264 (available from 
RPMFusion) is going to be better code to use for handling h.264.

>It's a trade off, would you rather have users not being able to play a
>hugely widespread codec that happens to be free software or would you
>rather make the default experience in Fedora and Firefox better for our

The issue for RTC is that we could be using a royalty free codec, such as 
VP8 instead. Accepting the binary makes it more likely that h.264 will 
be made mandatory to implement, which means any company not wanting to 
implement VP8 can always point to h.264 being mandatory as an excuse 
not to support VP8.

Another thing to worry about is how the binary is licensed. Accepting that 
license (even in places where software patents don't apply) could potentially 
cause issues. I haven't read the license for it yet, but most likely it will 
be a typcial consumer license that only covers non-commercial use (similar 
to what people get when they buy digital movie cameras).

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