Re: [rtcweb] H.264 patent licensing options

Richard Barnes <rlb@ipv.sx> Thu, 11 December 2014 16:42 UTC

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References: <E3FA0C72-48C5-465E-AE15-EB19D8D563A7@ieca.com> <54820E74.90201@mozilla.com> <54861AD6.8090603@reavy.org> <BBF5DDFE515C3946BC18D733B20DAD233998AC05@XMB122CNC.rim.net> <63BC3D6D-03A1-41C2-B92D-C8DD57DC51DB@nostrum.com> <BBF5DDFE515C3946BC18D733B20DAD233998ADF1@XMB122CNC.rim.net> <87d27r9o0a.fsf_-_@mid.deneb.enyo.de> <310BD70B-6302-4ACC-954A-DF5FFB420408@cisco.com> <5489B4CE.7060108@bbs.darktech.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:42:21 -0500
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From: Richard Barnes <rlb@ipv.sx>
To: cowwoc <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] H.264 patent licensing options
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I would like to re-emphasize that discussions of license terms are out of
scope for this list.  This thread is closed.

On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 10:14 AM, cowwoc <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org> wrote:

>  On 11/12/2014 9:39 AM, Cullen Jennings (fluffy) wrote:
>
>  On Dec 10, 2014, at 2:46 PM, Florian Weimer <fw@deneb.enyo.de> <fw@deneb.enyo.de> wrote:
>
> * Andrew Allen:
>
>
>  Our preference is for H.264 to be the single MTI. We believe that
> Cisco's open source royalty free code offer goes a long long way to
> address the concerns of many related to IPR on H.264
>
>  Cisco is required to say this about the patent license they allegedly
> confer:
>
> “THIS PRODUCT IS LICENSED UNDER THE AVC PATENT PORTFOLIO LICENSE FOR
> THE PERSONAL USE OF A CONSUMER OR OTHER USES IN WHICH IT DOES NOT
> RECEIVE REMUNERATION TO (i) ENCODE VIDEO IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE AVC
> STANDARD (“AVC VIDEO”) AND/OR (ii) DECODE AVC VIDEO THAT WAS ENCODED
> BY A CONSUMER ENGAGED IN A PERSONAL ACTIVITY AND/OR WAS OBTAINED FROM
> A VIDEO PROVIDER LICENSED TO PROVIDE AVC VIDEO.  NO LICENSE IS GRANTED
> OR SHALL BE IMPLIED FOR ANY OTHER USE.  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION MAY BE
> OBTAINED FROM MPEG LA, L.L.C. SEE HTTP://WWW.MPEGLA.COM”
>
> This rules out commercial use.
>
>  I don't think that is the case. This is really not in scope for this list but I'm going to answer anyways. This terms personal and consumer are defined in a way that might surprise you in the MPLEG-LA license. This can be used for what most people consider commercial in the usual use of the word. The best document to understand theses is  http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/avc/Documents/AVC_TermsSummary.pdf and work with your legal team.
>
> The license Cisco is providing for openh264 is  the same MPEG-LA license that is used by products such as Cisco video phones, tele pretenses systems, soft phones, webex, jabber ect. Most people think of the prices of our video and tele presence systems as most definitely "commercial" and people pay to use webex. You can use openh264 for things like that with the license provided.
>
> It's also well worth noting that if you ship less than 100k units/year, it free and you can just compile in your favorite 264 open source code  (there are multiple to choose from) and ship it.
>
> I don't want to start a thread about how to understand a complex legal document from MPEG-LA but I did want to just provide pointers to the above info.
>
> Cullen (with my individual contributor hat on)
>
>
> This just reinforces the point made by others which is when it comes to
> H264 this isn't so much a royalty problem (hence "free" is nice but not all
> that meaningful) but rather a problem where you have no way of using
> English or common sense in evaluating whether you are breaking the law or
> not. On the one hand, we have H264 proponents claiming OpenH264 solves all
> our woes. On the other hand, we have a legally-binding statement that
> pretty clearly states the opposite. Now you would have us believe that:
>
>    1. This is out of scope for this mailing list (which I disagree with
>    as it has a profound impact on our members)
>    2. "You have nothing to worry about. But you can't take our word for
>    it. Go pay a lawyer >$10,000 to find out for sure"
>
> Honestly. MPEG-LA is shooting itself in the foot by making these licensing
> terms so complex. Even if I wanted to give them my money the sheer
> complexity of the matter prevents me from touching their codec with a 10
> feet pole.
>
> Gili
>
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>