Fwd: Re: Bug#769716: iceweasel: downloads Cisco's OpenH264 video codec
It seems Mozilla, and Debian have an issues with the MPEG patent. When
might Debian distribute openh264 and MPEG LA source and binaries?
----- Forwarded message from Chuck Peters <email@example.com> -----
Mike Hommey said:
> a) it's not in any release of Debian, and it's not in any upcoming
> release of Debian either. It's in a package from experimental.
I had no idea I was running experimental packages on a machine with
wheezy and a few wheezy-backports (openssh-server and
debian-security-support). I followed the directions at
Add to sources.list:
deb http://mozilla.debian.net/ wheezy-backports iceweasel-release
$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install -t wheezy-backports iceweasel
So I have iceweasel 33.1-1~bpo70+1 installed.
And this confirms the binary blob.
$ ls -l ~/.mozilla/firefox/*/gmp-gmpopenh264/1.1
-rw-r--r-- 1 cp cp 114 Sep 2 16:36 gmpopenh264.info
-rwxr-xr-x 1 cp cp 1018138 Sep 2 16:37 libgmpopenh264.so
> b) everyone knows what's actually contained in that binary blob, since
> it's built from open source code, and the build is (supposed to be)
I'll assume you meant s/knows/can confirm/ because I certainly don't
> So it's not as bad as you make it sound.
That's good to know! However I think many of us would be more
comfortable if the Debian systems built the source.
http://www.openh264.org/faq.html explains that "In order for Cisco to be
responsible for the MPEG LA licensing royalties for the module, Cisco
must provide the packaging and distribution of this code in a binary
module format (think of it like a plug-in, but not using the same APIs
as existing plugins), in addition to several other constraints."
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/M2/Pages/Agreement.aspx says the
license fee would be $2.00 per unit.
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/M2/Pages/Agreement.aspx also says:
Coverage is from June 1, 1994 through the expiration of the MPEG-2
Patent Portfolio Patents and may be voluntarily terminated by the
Licensee after December 31, 2015 (Sections 6.1 and 6.4).
If what I am reading is correct, unless someone gets a MPEG LA License
that allows Debian to distribute the source and binaries we may not see
it until 2016 or perhaps later... According to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_of_patent#United_States the patent
term is over, so how is it more than 20 years and why can't Debian
distribute it now, ie. after June 1, 2014?
----- End forwarded message -----