Microsoft’s push for H.264 as the default codec forIE and HTML5 video

I read a few articles on the push for H.264 to be the only supported video codec used for Internet Explorer 9 and HTML5.  HTML5 specification describes video support without specifying a particular video format, allowing the supported codecs to be determined by the browser maker.  The real problem is that H.264 is a owned technology and will make publishers to buy a license to have videos on their web sites.  Use of the H.264 video codec requires a license from the MPEG LA, a group that manages pools of patents on behalf of participating companies.  The following are the patent pool members:

Apple Inc.
DAEWOO Electronics Corporation
Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation
Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
France Télécom, société anonyme*
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
Fujitsu Limited
Hitachi, Ltd.
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
LG Electronics Inc.
Microsoft Corporation
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
Panasonic Corporation
Robert Bosch GmbH*
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Scientific-Atlanta Vancouver Company
Sedna Patent Services, LLC
Sharp Corporation
Siemens AG
Sony Corporation
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson
The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
Toshiba Corporation
Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.*

See a few names you recognize.

Now from what I understand, making the H.264 codec the only supported codec for IE9 will cause the developers to purchase a license to encode their content for web use after the grace period ending in 2016.  You can find all kinds of information stating how well the codec performs.  But that isn’t the real problem, the problem is yet another group trying to control part of the web and make more money.  I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing if I was part of the patent group.

I agree with a comment I read that said it would be fine if H.264 was the default codec but you would have the ability to install any other codec you wanted.  Also Firefox already supports HTML5 video and uses the Ogg codec.  The Ogg video codec is specifically supported as part of Mozilla’s efforts to encourage open video across the Web. Mozilla has said in the past that they encourage others, including Google and Apple, to adopt Ogg as the default HTML 5 codec as well.

Well I think what happens is out of our hands and as long as there is open source software end users will have a choice in what they use.  End users may not see the cost of using H.264, but it may cause some popular websites to go under or even charge to be members.  I think their is one more possibility, the Firefox will replace IE completely as websites lean towards Firefox and  not paying for licenses to use H.264.

Maybe I go this all wrong, but I think I have made my point.

Here are some more articles on this subject:

Check them out and then form your own opinion.

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