Feeds

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

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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.