Feeds

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

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.