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Canonical clarifies its H.264 licence – The H Open Source: News and Features.

As you can see, most Linux users will end up using illegal decoders on Linux, just as they are now using illegal MP3 and DVD decoders. Such software has a history of being buggy because freedom loving GNU type software developers wont touch it out of principle, reducing the available number of open source engineers to those who do not care about the law for whatever reason. That’s some conjecture on my part, but who knows. Those who bring up ffmpeg need to realize that there are contributes to ffmpeg who have paid for an H.264 license, like Google, yet still VLC is reportedly a substandard experience. Even if it wasn’t buggy, without a license from MPEG-LA playing H.264 is illegal.

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2 Comments

  1. Wow, you don’t even read your own stuff.

    http://blog.apphacker.com/2010/05/04/know-your-rights-h-264-patent-licensing-and-you-engadget/

    End users do not need to pay or get a license from MPEG-LA just to play H.264 content. It’s the distribution of free internet video which will require a license, and that will not happen until at least 2016.

    • That applies to the distribution of content encoded with H.264, the decoders themselves are an entirely different matter… This is discussed in that Engadget article:

      the MPEG-LA actually offers two licenses: one for codec developers (who make and sell the patented H.264 technology) and one for video content and service providers (who use it to distribute H.264 encoded content).


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