Feeds

H.264 video codec stays royalty-free for HTML5 testers

Patent granted 5-year amnesty, Mozilla still no-likey

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Freetards stand down - MPEG LA has decided to slash royalties to zero for anyone wishing to use the H.264 codec for free streaming of internet video until the end of 2016.

The MPEG licensing outfit confirmed earlier this week that its AVC patent portfolio licence won’t charge royalties for internet video that is free to end users.

From 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2016 MPEG LA individuals will be able to use the H.264 codec, which Mozilla recently bitched about, on a royalty-free basis as long as the video being streamed doesn’t reel in any cash for the user.

“Products and services other than Internet Broadcast AVC Video continue to be royalty-bearing, and royalties to apply during the next term will be announced before the end of 2010,” added MPEG LA in a statement.

Some quarters of the developer community have grumbled about H.264 codecs because the built-in decoding system for HTML5 is proprietary tech.

The logical conclusion for Mozilla and others is that the rug could be pulled from under them at any time, with MPEG LA demanding payment, or else threatening patent infringement.

To date, H.264 usage has been without charges for anyone encoding and decoding the standard for the explicit intention of delivering free video streams over the internet. Google’s YouTube is a high-profile H.264 case in point.

Mountain View, of course, is in the process of acquiring video compression tech company On2 Technologies, which suggests Google may be planning to open source its own video codec.

Meanwhile, Mozilla endorses the open and licence-free Ogg Theora codec and has no intention of folding H.264 into its Firefox browser anytime soon, despite MPEG LA’s appeasing five-year agreement to keep its patent royalty-free.

“Regarding that MPEG-LA announce: it's good they did it, but they sort of had to. But it's like five more years of free to lock you in 4ever,” claimed Mozilla CEO John Lilly yesterday. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.