OpenH264 in Fedora

Lars Seipel lars.seipel at
Mon Nov 4 18:33:42 UTC 2013

On Mon, Nov 04, 2013 at 11:28:21AM -0600, Bruno Wolff III 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.

And, apparently, that's all this announcement is about at this point.
There's no code, no blob, no license for the blob, nothing. Just a
decision to be made at the IETF slated for Thursday.

We'll never be able to ship this thing within Fedora. If H.264 gets made
MTI for WebRTC every Fedora user has to bear the hassle of somehow
downloading the blob from Cisco. The alternative VP8, however, works
right out-of-the-box on every Fedora system.

Proprietary vendors will no doubt integrate the needed codec directly
into their software and save their users the trouble. It would be a
major disadvantage for free software projects. Codified in an IETF
standard. That's pretty sad if you ask me.

Additional issues might turn up in terms of how the OpenH264 project
will deal with the addition of builds for other platforms and
architectures. I'm not only thinking Fedora here but also open source
projects trying to build embedded stuff or working on other free
operating systems. Having to speak the (yet unknown) OpenH264 API and
somehow convince the OpenH264 governance to build for your platform is
just bad. For all we know this might even be a gigantic mess of
unworkable C++ code. ;-)

Hey, we are implementing an internet standard here, why do we have to
ask anyone for permission?


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