Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Fencing and Tollgating the Internet

Filed under
Software
Web

This story about yet another attempt to raise a tollgate on the Internet deserves having some extra attention called to it.

"The players from Google and Vimeo do present a pretty serious problem, though. Each of these require a proprietary H.264 codec to be able to view them. These codecs aren't compatible with the royalty-free web standards that the rest of the web is built on. The fact that they are being so unabashedly hyped along with the new darling of the web - HTML5 - means that most people don't understand that something very dangerous is taking place behind the scenes...

"Remember, this is still very early in H.264's history so the licensing is very friendly, just like it used to be for MP3.

The author, Christopher Blizzard, works for Mozilla. He has done his homework and gone far beyond the tech press in analyzing the issue. In fact, the tech press have totally missed this, and instead joined in cheerleading H.264. What journalists are missing out on is that H.264 is a patented codec, and that the patent holders expect to collect royalties.

Rest Here




Firefox, YouTube, Video and the Ethics of Codecs?

htmlgoodies.com: Lately there has been a lot of controversy over the recent announcements by Mozilla, YouTube and Vimeo about their support of HTML5 video. The controversy lies in the codec used to display that video, and how supporting one codec over another could unravel the fabric the web is made of.

To get to the point, it all boils down to licensing rights. YouTube announced that they were using the H.264 video codec to support HTML5 video. This was soon followed by an announcement by Vimeo, another video site, that they will also support HTML5 using the H.264 codec. Apple's Safari is also using the H.264 codec. Dailymotion and Wikipedia have gone with support for Ogg Theora, an open source video codec. Mozilla hasn't settled on which codec they will support, and Google's Chrome supports both codecs.

By supporting H.264, YouTube, Vimeo and Safari are solidifying the use of H.264's in HTML5 video. The Unisys debacle will pale in comparison to the issues that will arrise if this happens with HTML5 video.

While it may be okay to use the H.264 video codec for the time being, at some point companies will have to start licensing the H.264 codec from the industry group that owns the MPEG-LA codec, and this will mean big bucks. Huge, gigantic bucks. And that spells trouble for the web.

There are two sides to this argument:

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu 14.10 Released, openSUSE GNOME Peek, and Debian Multimedia

ubuntuThe release of Ubuntu 14.10, codenamed Utopic Unicorn, was the big news today. But in other news, Kostas Koudaras has a sneak peek of GNOME in upcoming openSUSE 13.2 and Alessio Treglia shared some bits on Debian 8.0 multimedia. Miguel de Icaza announces Mono for the Unreal Engine and, finally, Erich Schubert says avoiding systemd isn't hard at all. Read more

eBay joins open-source community with ultra-fast OLAP engine for Hadoop

Like arch-rival Amazon.com, the soon-to-split eBay Inc. is something of an oddity in that it hasn’t historically been a big contributor to the open-source community. But the e-commerce pioneer hopes to change that with the release of the source-code for a homegrown online analytics processing (OLAP) engine that promises to speed up Hadoop while also making it more accessible to everyday enterprise users. Read more

DHS report makes recommendations for greater open source software use in government

A report commissioned by the Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate say barriers to using and developing open source software must be addressed as IT budgets across government continue to tighten. Read more

Calculate Linux Provides Consistency by Design

Calculate Linux has a rather interesting strategy for desktop environments. It is characterized by two flavors with the same look and feel. That does not mean that the inherent functionality of the KDE and Xfce desktops are compromised. Rather, the Calculate Linux developers did what you seldom see within a Linux distribution with more than one desktop option: They unified the design. Read more