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Cisco Open-Sources H.264 Codec, Pushes WebRTC

Free Software

Published on 30 October 2013 10:17 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
55 Comments

Cisco announced this morning their plans to open-source their H.264 codec under a BSD license and make it available free for all. Cisco is open-sourcing their H.264 codec without assessing any fees in an effort to push H.264 for the WebRTC real-time communication API.

Cisco shared this morning in a blog post entitled Open-Sourced H.264 Removes Barriers to WebRTC their open-source H.264 codec plans. Next week the Internet Engineering Task Force is set to announce their plans to standardize on a common video codec for the WebRTC real-time API and Cisco wants H.264 to be used. For pushing this agenda, they're opening up their H.264 codec and they will not pass along any royalty payment costs they pay to MPEG LA.

Rowan Trollope of Cisco shared, "We plan to open-source our H.264 codec, and to provide it as a binary module that can be downloaded for free from the Internet. Cisco will not pass on our MPEG LA licensing costs for this module, and based on the current licensing environment, this will effectively make H.264 free for use in WebRTC."

Mozilla already issued their own blog post in support of Cisco's actions. Mozilla intends to support Cisco's open-source module for H.264 support within Firefox.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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