OpenH264 in Fedora

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at
Mon Nov 4 18:20:44 UTC 2013

On Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 9:28 AM, Bruno Wolff III <bruno at> wrote:
> 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.

Conformance with the specification may require the implementation of
H.264 if the
decision to make H.264 mandatory to implement. This means that those who
care about conformance (e.g. those responding to RFPs) would need to deal
with the consequences.

Many people here have expressed the sentiment that Fedora would be unable to
utilize this option.  This is stark contrast to the claims made to the
working group
so far.

If it is the case that fedora will not utilize this option (or another
to obtain h264 support) and you care about avoiding an outcome where
Fedora is unable to claim conformance with the spec, then someone
probably ought to comment about this to the working group. Commenting
to the WG list may not change the working group's outcome, commenting
here surely won't.

> 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

I've seen this sentiment expressed in several posts. There are H.264
patents in the MPEG-LA AVC patent pool current and issued in something
like 46 countries. I haven't checked what percentage of the world's
population the list covers, but I would be surprised if it weren't on
the order of >95%. ( )

In the US, at least, accepting a patent license (even paying for one)
doesn't preclude you from challenging the validity of a patent.

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