Re: [rtcweb] H.261

Randell Jesup <> Thu, 05 December 2013 09:27 UTC

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Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2013 04:25:20 -0500
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] H.261
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On 12/2/2013 3:04 PM, Basil Mohamed Gohar wrote:
> On 11/27/2013 05:04 PM, Ron wrote:
>> On Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 12:42:25PM -0800, Eric Rescorla wrote:
>>> What makes it a Cisco product is that it comes from Cisco, not that you
>>> make a bunch of copies and send it to people.
>> So, if I buy a video camera with H.264 support from some local store,
>> are you saying that it's the retailer responsible for purchasing the
>> licence?  Or maybe it's the sweat-shop fabricator that's responsible
>> for this?  Who did my camera "come from" in this case?
>> And are you by extension saying that I'm responsible for a 'unit'
>> every time that Cisco binary is copied from disk storage to RAM?
>> What if the disk it's on is in a NAS?
>> Juries in Texas are going to love this.
> Sorry, I missed this whole thread of discussion, but I think I know the
> answer to this, not that I think it matters a whole bunch.
> The camera manufacturer only has a transitive license to its customers
> for private, non-commercial usage, and that's exactly what it says in
> the discussion.
> This, by the way, is exactly and only the usages that will be allowed by
> the Cisco binary, unless MPEG-LA has changed their transitive licensing
> practices since I last investigated this.

IANAPL - In theory these restricted "personal" licenses can't be used 
for something like recording H.264 DVDs for sale, or for a video 
included in a for-profit ("commercial") blog post, can't be used in a 
DVD player to decode H.264, etc.  (This last part is something that 
MPEG-LA is very concerned with protecting, I believe, due to how the 
licenses are arranged).

Use of the Cisco module in a (commercial) conferencing server would 
(IMHO, IANAPL) likely stray onto the wrong side of the legal line (and 
also might not fall into the 100K units waiver if youy dealt with 
MPEG-LA directly).  Use in a corporation for video calls might 
theoretically stray over the line, but in a way that is done constantly 
by Windows for example (IIRC Windows has this "private, non-commercial" 
clause for H.264).

I think if you want to invoke the 100K units bit, you have to sign a 
deal with MPEG-LA, and count units, and agree to audits, etc.  But I 
haven't read their terms in a long time.

Randell Jesup -- rjesup a t mozilla d o t com