OpenH264 in Fedora

Alberto Ruiz aruiz at
Mon Nov 4 18:35:28 UTC 2013

On Mon, 2013-11-04 at 11:28 -0600, Bruno Wolff III wrote:
> 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.

How is the code from RPMFusion any better? And if getting it through
RPMFusion is acceptable, why is it suddenly unacceptable to do it trough
other means? I don't care about the quality of the code, I just care
that my video is decoded.

> 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.

Google gave up on that battle, Mozilla gave up on that battle, and
somehow you expect that the Fedora community can somehow turn the tides?
There are better ways to push for improvements in this effort (like the
Daala codec).

The only thing you will achieve by actively pushing this codec out is
making the life of the Fedora users more miserable. Nobody cares about
the open web more than the Mozilla organization, I'd say their criteria
(while subject to review and criticism) should be taken into

> 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).

Again, the people who have been fighting for open source media
and the Mozilla organization have already acknowledge that while this
situation is not ideal, is an improvement over the current situation,
I'd say we should trust these guys a little when it comes to these
things, don't you think?

Alberto Ruiz

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