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Firefox With H.264 HTML 5 Support = Wild Fox

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the join-the-fun dept.

Firefox 477

Elledan writes "Two countries have software patents which make it impossible to freely use video codecs such as AVC (H.264). This has led to projects such as Firefox not including AVC support with the HTML 5 video tag in their releases, which makes the rest of the world suffer indirectly the effects of software patents as well. To rectify this situation at least somewhat, I have created the Wild Fox project, which aims to release Firefox builds with the features previously excluded due to software patents. This software will be available to those in non-software-patent-encumbered countries. Any developers who wish to join the project are more than welcome."

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End of Firefox? (5, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225100)

Now first of all to the Wild Fox project maintainers, this is the right move. Fight to win the whole war, not one battle. Don't die as a martyr and lose it all just by demanding something to happen right now.

Additionally, it looks like Firefox is actually starting to lose support even from the Open Source front. Even Ubuntu is probably changing to Chronium [crunchgear.com] and dropping Firefox. It kind of looks like Firefox lost the track of what they were doing a long time ago.

Apparently Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution, is considering dropping Firefox for Chrome. ...
it could be a sign that people are starting to feel less, um, “loyalty” to Firefox.

Not that I'm anymore happier Google's products taking over everything...

Re:End of Firefox? (2, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225124)

As far as I can tell, they aren't actually proposing a wholesale fork, with a new community to do general browser development and replace Firefox. It looks like it's just a project to release variant builds of Firefox with additional features added, and will otherwise track mainline FF development.

Re:End of Firefox? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225160)

You said,

As far as I can tell, they aren't actually proposing a wholesale fork

As far as I can tell their is no "they". It's more like a person who is looking for programmers:

As I (Maya Posch AKA 'Elledan') am just a single person, help is required to set up this project successfully...

I think the news on this story is a bit premature.

Re:End of Firefox? (4, Insightful)

Nakor BlueRider (1504491) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225228)

You're right, only I don't know that it's premature for Slashdot. It certainly doesn't belong in a mainstream news article of any sort, but we know the feelings here on the topic; perhaps a little /. exposure is what the project needs to get its feet off the ground.

Re:End of Firefox? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225586)

Needs help? To integrate one codec into a browser? Really?

This can't be real. Is he asking for brains to do all the work for him? For volunteers to set up and run a website? For donations? Popularity? I don't get it.

Re:End of Firefox? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225592)

As far as I can tell their is no "they".

Their is no they're is no there. So there.

Re:End of Firefox? (2, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225170)

Now first of all to the Wild Fox project maintainers, this is the right move. Fight to win the whole war, not one battle. Don't die as a martyr and lose it all just by demanding something to happen right now.

I agree with parent that WildFox is the right way to go, but could Firefox devs not offer a means to pipe the video stream to the player of the user's choice? Eg, vlc or mplayer running as a content-transparent plugin? That sorts the patent issue (from Firefox's perspective) and sorts the playback performance problem that others have mentioned. As long as the layer of the window is handled right, this might be a palatable workaround?

Re:End of Firefox? (5, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225190)

``could Firefox devs not offer a means to pipe the video stream to the player of the user's choice? Eg, vlc or mplayer running as a content-transparent plugin?''

Yeah, they could. But then they'd be doing the same thing that browser vendors have been doing for the object element since the 1990s. Then what would be the point of the new HTML 5 video element?

Re:End of Firefox? (5, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225236)

Yeah, they could. But then they'd be doing the same thing that browser vendors have been doing for the object element since the 1990s. Then what would be the point of the new HTML 5 video element?

Well, it would make all that bitching about which codecs to standardize on a non-issue for a start. It's a browser, why should it know how to play audio, video, decode images, display fonts, or lord knows what other things will come along - 3D support next? Pass it to the OS or build against external libraries and let something else figure that out.

Re:End of Firefox? (2, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225288)

3D support next?

Google WebGL.

Pass it to the OS or build against external libraries and let something else figure that out.

Also see WebGL. I agree that external libraries should be used, but there needs to be some amount of integration, or at least standardization. The browser doesn't have to implement OpenGL itself, but it helps that it's specified to be OpenGL and not DirectX.

Re:End of Firefox? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225632)

Don't you get it? Mozilla already showed it in their concepts, they want to take over the desktop. Since emacs more and more applications are trying to become something more than they are. Today Mozilla, Chrome and possible others want to be the whole desktop experience where ever you are using it, on your mobile, laptop or desktop.

I am by the way against using the any non-free codec anywhere, whether its built-in or not. There is no reason for us to support software patents in anyway. It is a stupid american idea that is being enforced by us corporate greed.

Re:End of Firefox? (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225310)

Why not incorporate ffmpeg into firefox its open source and not only would it render h.264 but almost ever other codec.

Re:End of Firefox? (5, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225434)

Because it would violate patents in many countries, unless you stripped out all of the infringing codecs, including h.264.

Also because it's the wrong way to go about this. Why bundle the codecs when you can call out to native, shared systems like GStreamer and have them provide the codecs for you? That'd handle the legal issue, too.

Re:End of Firefox? (1)

scumm (80325) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225438)

I suspect this is what the "Wild Fox" folks intend to do. I doubt they'd want to re-invent the wheel when such an easy solution is available. Hell, Chrom(e|ium) uses it, to varying degrees (the whole h.264 thing in Chromium).

Re:End of Firefox? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225520)

Not having to work out what particular set of voodoo incantations is necessary to control the video/audio playback with javascript?

Re:End of Firefox? (1)

Cley Faye (1123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225538)

Yeah, they could. But then they'd be doing the same thing that browser vendors have been doing for the object element since the 1990s. Then what would be the point of the new HTML 5 video element?

It would mean a standardized way to embed video (duh). Using the object element merely say "I want to play this file". It can be handled in various ways; having the video tag would mean a common, uniform interface which would detach the video playback from the browser but still have a single interface from browser point of view.
This would lead to some things, like, having a way to control the video through javascript without a handful of different function just to say "play", for example.

Re:End of Firefox? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225562)

Then what would be the point of the new HTML 5 video element?

Look, the asshats that selected a proprietary plug-in as the standard lost any right to make the video plug-in behave as intended.

Not quite. (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225272)

HTML5 requires a bit more control than I think tools like mplayer would provide. However, there's nothing stopping Firefox from supporting local tools -- GStreamer on Linux, QuickTime on OS X, or DirectShow on Windows -- and letting the user get the appropriate codecs, legally or otherwise.

Re:End of Firefox? (2, Interesting)

Draykwing (900431) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225618)

..could Firefox devs not offer a means to pipe the video stream to the player of the user's choice? Eg, vlc or mplayer running as a content-transparent plugin?

There's a patch floating around if Firefox's bugzilla that uses GStreamer as the backend for the <video> tag, see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=422540 [mozilla.org]

Re:End of Firefox? (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225624)

Eg, vlc or mplayer running as a content-transparent plugin?

There is no reason to reinvent the wheel - Windows has DirectShow, Linux has gstreamer and MacOS has Quicktime. They allow any application to play any media file that has the needed codecs and source filters installed. Windows Media Player, Media Player Classic and a lot of others use DirectShow, that's why I need to install ffmpeg once to a PC and not once for every player.

Re:End of Firefox? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225224)

Now first of all to the Wild Fox project maintainers, this is the right move. Fight to win the whole war, not one battle. Don't die as a martyr and lose it all just by demanding something to happen right now.

What "war"? Against who, exactly? Mozilla's only interest is in building an open, inclusive web where everyone can participate with no barriers to entry. H.264 represents the direct antithesis of this goal. There is no segregation into groups of "winners" and "losers" in an open web, rather everyone benefits.

Look, I know there's no point trying to convince you. You don't really get it. Whenever there's an H.264 story, you're always one of the first posters and always pro-H.264. It's like you post on an astroturfer hair-trigger.

Re:End of Firefox? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225372)

Mozilla's only interest is in building an open, inclusive web where everyone can participate with no barriers to entry. H.264 represents the direct antithesis of this goal.

But H.264 has much wider support than Theora. So, isn't Mozilla's blocking of H.264 in favor of Theora the antithesis of this goal?

Re:End of Firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225506)

COMPREHENSION FAIL.

Short response: "No, it's not."

Long response:
"Open, inclusive web" has nothing to do with popularity. H264 will (or already has?) require fees to produce the content and must be licensed from several large companies including M$ and Apple. Don't agree with the license, then you can't participate legally. Don't pony up the cash, you can't participate.

Theora is open to everyone, and requires no money. You can find plenty of open source, freely available editing tools... although you could probably find commercial / closed applications too, if you so choose to.

Re:End of Firefox? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225582)

"Open, inclusive web" has nothing to do with popularity. H264 will (or already has?) require fees to produce the content and must be licensed from several large companies including M$ and Apple

I was mainly responding to the "inclusive web where everyone can participate with no barriers to entry" part. Theora is a much bigger barrier to entry for most people, and much less inclusive. A hell of a lot of people have computers and devices that are already equipped to play H.264. Very few people have computers and devices equipped to play Theora.

Theora is open to everyone, and requires no money. You can find plenty of open source, freely available editing tools...

But actually getting them and installing them on the plethora of platforms out there is a pretty big barrier compared to just using what you already have, that supports H.264. Do you really think that the majority of web users are going to seek out those tools?

Re:End of Firefox? (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225722)

Do you really think that the majority of web users are going to seek out those tools?

They would if, for example, none of the videos on YouTube would play until they did.

h.264 is a BAD mistake. It's GIF all over again. By supporting it, they're just playing the corporate game. Oh wait - they ARE corporations. Never mind. So much for freedom.

Re:End of Firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225752)

But actually getting them and installing them on the plethora of platforms out there is a pretty big barrier compared to just using what you already have, that supports H.264. Do you really think that the majority of web users are going to seek out those tools?

Internet Explorer is already installed on the computer. Actually getting firefox and installing it on the plethora of windows machines out there is a pretty big barrier compared to just using what you already have. Do you really think that the majority of web users are going to seek out those tools?

Had youtube chosen theora, then the majority of people would install theora. All it takes is a major player. The problem is that several major players have stocks in H.264.

Re:End of Firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225766)

As I see it (and I think this was the grandparent's point), downloading other people's videos is not "participating". Participating is creating your own videos and sharing them with the world.

Re:End of Firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225768)

A hell of a lot of people have computers and devices that are already equipped to play H.264. Very few people have computers and devices equipped to play Theora.

Apparently over 615 million computers are equipped to play Theora:

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/stats/ [mozilla.com]

I doubt all of those computers are owned by a very few people. I'd suggest that many, many millions of people have computers equipped to play Theora.

Re:End of Firefox? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225230)

Not that I'm anymore happier Google's products taking over everything...

It's not like Chromium is anywhere close to that; it grows, sure, but this time it might bring honest adherence to standards instead of a kind of duaopoly, making websites to work with "IE+FF" that was semi-common for some time. Even if they are only slightly better than FF with standards at this point; this post [chromium.org] means they rather care.

Good for me, and any user of the browser which is closest to the bullseye. And good for the web.

Re:End of Firefox? (5, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225298)

Of course Firefox is losing support among the OSS front. It's feature-rich, and is widely used.

Perfect time to turn our backs on it, and kill it!

Re:End of Firefox? (0, Troll)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225366)

Actually, I thought it was the memory mismanagement and bloat.

Re:End of Firefox? (3, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225382)

Don't install 100 addons, and there is no bloat or memory mismanagement.

Re:End of Firefox? (2, Insightful)

spikeb (966663) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225420)

haha, right. it's still a resource hog and slow as molasses compared to chromium

Re:End of Firefox? (2, Interesting)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225568)

Who cares how fast it is if it looks bad?

Some of us just prefer gecko's rendering over webkit. Always have, always will.

Re:End of Firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225718)

Maybe so, but Firefox got vimperator. For me that is the only thing that matters.

I know I am in minority, but there are plenty of minorities that stick with a browser for similar reasons.

Re:End of Firefox? (1)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225744)

Since when does a simple fork cause the parent to die?

In your answer, please provide actual examples. Like, when OpenBSD's fork killed NetBSD, or the proliferation of webkit browsers killed konqueror.

Thanks.

Ubuntu has never supported Firefox (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225512)

Has any version of Ubuntu had uninterrupted support for the then current version of Firefox? They seem to think it's ok to wait months, and then only update with the entire OS.

Re:End of Firefox? (4, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225682)

Two things:

1. Forks of good* projects have it hard:
Wild fox will not be able to keep up with the good infrastructure of Firefox (developers, build system, connections). Mozilla is pretty big and provides a excellent service. Wild fox will have a hard time to keep up with upstream.

2. Mozilla has a bigger target. They aim for a free Internet (and free software). They have been quite successful against IE in these terms (correctness regarding CSS, HTML4 & XHTML, inclusion of HTML5, JS speed).
The FSF, GNU & Red Hat have the same goal for free software. The Linux kernel has the same goal too (no closed source modules).
Ubuntu does not. Wild Fox has not.

It is shortsighted to find the "tolerant", "pragmatic" projects better. It is not just puristic zealots against "I just want it to work". The availability of free software increases the options users have.
Projects that cut the corner slow down the OSS development of free replacement packages, and can damage the upstream process.

Don't get me wrong. It is nice that we can view Flash videos. This binary blob comes with security issues, memory bloat and crashes. At the same time Gnash ran out of funding and most developers had to abandon it.
Contrary to what Ubuntu users** believe, good free software doesn't come from screaming loud enough, but actual, continuous work.

* you could also say: projects that don't sufficiently suck
** Enough Ubuntu bashing :-) They are very good at taking an end-user view on projects, which is valuable feedback.

the point? (1, Flamebait)

spikeb (966663) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225120)

firefox can't even play back theora html5 videos (try it. slow as a dog), now they want to add something else it can't do?

Re:the point? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225590)

dogs are not that slow? what happened, you were too much in a rush to be able to find a decent metaphorical comparison?

Re:the point? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225650)

firefox can't even play back theora html5 videos

This disappoints all three people who have Theora videos.

watch out for importation to USA (2, Interesting)

optikos (1187213) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225138)

what to still watch out for: making Wild Fox available in the USA could be an infringing importation http://www.managingip.com/Article/2400437/Foreign-infringement-of-US-patents.html [managingip.com]

Re:watch out for importation to USA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225274)

Solution: Host the site in Russia. Any FBI agents who try to set foot there will quickly be gunned down by the phishing mafia...and the US probably isn't willing to start a nuclear war over H.264. :)

Re:watch out for importation to USA (2, Insightful)

Madsy (1049678) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225730)

You're kidding, but I wouldn't be so sure. Intellectual property is the only remaining goods the U.S exports. If anything could make the U.S start a nuclear war, it would be something that threatens its economy.

Re:watch out for importation to USA (3, Informative)

Elledan (582730) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225320)

That's why I specifically mention on the site that this version of Firefox is not meant for anyone in a country which has such patents. No American, South-Korean or anyone from another country which has or will get such software patents can not, is not allowed to and shall never use Wild Fox. Period. Unless they cough up the licensing costs for using a h.264 decoder.


Maya (Wild Fox maintainer)

Re:watch out for importation to USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225450)

Or they'll ignore you and use it. I know I will.

Re:watch out for importation to USA (1)

jpg5 (857745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225554)

Why they don't just do the same in Firefox website? I mean they can have two builds. One with and one without H264 add say something like: "If you leave in USA, then download the version without H264. If you don't like that, either ask your government to scrap any software patents or go and buy a H264 license."

Re:watch out for importation to USA (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225660)

AFAIK it's because Mozilla is in the USA, so they would be in trouble for infringing the patents even though the users, who live in other countries would not.

However, nothing is preventing Mozilla from making a version of Firefox that uses system codecs (Directshow on Windows etc) and not worrying about where the users would get the codec (those, who have Win7, already have h264 btw).

"impossiblefreely".... WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225148)

That a new word?

Re:"impossiblefreely".... WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225168)

kdawson. 'nuff said.

Re:"impossiblefreely".... WTF? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225182)

Story posted at the speed of kdawson.

Re:"impossiblefreely".... WTF? (2, Funny)

komap (1416423) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225192)

That a new word?

yes, thatanewword.

Re:"impossiblefreely".... WTF? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225246)

yes, thatanewword.

Hmm, is that a malamanteau ?

Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (3, Insightful)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225176)

This project is yet more proof that software patents are profoundly anticompetitive. People have written open source H.264 encoders and decoders. Software patents literally make these open source projects illegal. Why should anyone have a monopoly so they can charge for what others are willing to give away for free? How does that benefit the economy, or the progress of technology? Absolutely ludicrous.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225200)

The whole concept of patents is to protect the patent inventor against competition and give him or her a monopoly. 'Patents are anticompetitive' is a tautology. It never in the past therefore was considered a valid argument against patents.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (1)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225242)

True, but I said profoundly anti-competitive. The negative effects on the market in this case vastly outweigh the general incentive created by the monopoly prize for being first to innovate. I simply don't see the benefit to society in legally denying people the right reimplement proprietary software from scratch.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225282)

Oh, "profoundly." Well, fuck. Then that changes everything.

Are you really going to hang your argument on an adjective? The point, as you've been told, IS to BE anti-competitive. Adjectives and your personal judgement of their application don't change that underlying fact.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225338)

To be fair, that's an adverb.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225326)

Likewise, holding a patent gives you exactly ONE right.

That right is the right to prevent others from making, using, or distributing your invention.

You aren't granted any positive rights such as the "right" to produce your invention. No, you just get the right to stop others.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (4, Insightful)

smoot123 (1027084) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225352)

It's defensible because someone had to do the research to figure out the H.264 algorithms. In retrospect, it's easy to say "Duh, of course quarter-pixel motion estimation is a good idea", but someone had to do a lot of grunt work to prove that's really the case.

I'm quite certain math geeks are beavering away at new compression algorithms in corporate labs. Much of that research will screech to a halt if there's no prospect of making money licensing the resulting patents. Not all of it, just a lot. So the benefit to society is we get a 2160i video standard this decade, not next. Is that worth it? I don't know, maybe, but it's not cut and dried.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225500)

On the contrary, OOS software writers would be using the latest published mathematical recipes (algorithms) to create H.264 equivalent and better encoders/decoders/software *today* (if not years ago) if were not for the inhibitory effects of existing software patents. We are behind in technology available to the masses because of software patents shooting out rungs in the ladder on the climb to next bigger and better thing for non-moneyed software writers.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225700)

On the contrary, OOS software writers would be using the latest published mathematical recipes (algorithms) to create H.264 equivalent and better encoders/decoders/software *today* (if not years ago) if were not for the inhibitory effects of existing software patents. We are behind in technology available to the masses because of software patents shooting out rungs in the ladder on the climb to next bigger and better thing for non-moneyed software writers.

Right. And who would invent them? Where is demonstration of this inhibited talent? OSS is never pro-active; it's reactive, as evidenced by the current battle waged against H264, a battle lost years ago. If OSS were as progressive as you think, they would already have been working on the next video standard, not musing on their defeat -- ironically, a move that will start this entire cycle all over again.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225776)

Dirac?

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225558)

Sure, but when you pretty much force everyone to use a particular codec? No thank you.

The original point of patents (wiki:) "is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state (national government) to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for a public disclosure of an invention." (In US, it's 20 years from filing)

Patents were always meant for short term because the original goal was to BENEFIT SOCIETY while allowing companies to make their money.

Additionally, we don't need a 2160i video standard. The Internet's not going to have the affordable bandwidth required, and you're going to run your bandwidth cap real fast. =P

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225604)

There would still be plenty of research in the field, because video compression is only a tiny part of an overall market... There are plenty of organisations who would find video compression useful and would feel that a better codec would make their products more useful.
And then there is always purely academic research.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (2, Interesting)

intrico (100334) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225408)

Hopefully, the supreme court recognizes this as well. The landmark Bilski vs. Kappos case decision is expected to be released by the U.S. Supreme Court any day now. Depending on what that decision is, thousands of patents could be invalidated.

Re:Software patents are profoundly anticompetitive (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225430)

This project is yet more proof that software patents are profoundly anticompetitive.

Software patents do not make open source software illegal. They do make not paying license fees illegal. There are ways to do this and there is a cap to how much you need to pay.

If the fees were that exuberant, wouldn't there already be another competing standard by now?

Not Valid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225218)

You may want to check on the international validity of patents. Whether or not a patent is valid in a country is not necessarily related to whether or not the patent was or could have been issued there. While Brazil feels free to ignore patents on AIDS medicine, it made an active decision to do so and to break the patent.

This is what the Internet is for (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225248)

Route around boys, route around.

Any attempt at controlling information will eventually fail and do so in far more spectacular ways as we progress both socially and technologically as a species.

Re:This is what the Internet is for (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225370)

This is a technological work-around for a legal problem.

When the music industry shut down Napster, some clever programmers wrote up distributed filesharing applications. Hooray, right? Well, no, then the lawyers and the CEOs and the lobbyists went crying to the legislators. And one by one, each country started enacting stricter and stricter copyright laws. Grandmothers are being thrown in prison. Citizens are being fined thousands for a half dozen song downloads. Pirating has reached social acceptance, but hey, so has pot smoking. Social acceptance hasn't changed the fact that your government can throw you in jail at any minute.

Look at the story of The Pirate Bay. We're running out of safe havens, because "routing around" is so much easier than making a stand in your own country, against your own government. Who really wants to go down to their local state/federal legislature and march and protest for the "right to copy data"? Most of us just fileshare for the sake of having some good entertainment to watch in the evening. It's hard to get worked up over relaxation. We don't want to have to work at getting our entertainment, so let's just route around and hope the lawyers don't catch me.

Somewhat related example: China builds a firewall. The clever computer nerds know how to get around it, but for fear of imprisonment, they can't go around blabbing the details. Their own neighbors will turn them in at the drop of a hat. As a result, political dissidence remains horribly unorganized and ineffective. The tools are there, but it doesn't matter, because no one can use them for anything bigger than reading Western newspapers or downloading porn.

Routing around doesn't fix anything. If anything, it releases just enough steam that the public's anger never reaches the critical point to turn around these abominable laws. Quit bragging, about your clever programming tricks. They won't help you when the government/corporations own the tubes, the clients, the servers, and the courts.

Ubuntu should stick with Firefox. (4, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225278)

If Ubuntu omits Firefox, it will be the first thing I do on any new version, is remove Chromium, and to manually install Firefox.

Until Chromium has addons like Firefox I'm not interested in using it. If they actually go with Chrome, that will be a joke. I actually value my privacy rights, and I don't want Google's browser snooping on me, and reporting my web usage to their advertising servers.

Re:Ubuntu should stick with Firefox. (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225316)

If they actually go with Chrome, that will be a joke. I actually value my privacy rights...

If you look at the list of stuff Chrome adds over Chromium, you won't find much you'd actually care about as far as privacy rights.

Re:Ubuntu should stick with Firefox. (4, Informative)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225340)

Chromium does have addons now, and since it is an open source project it'll be rather difficult for Google to hide snooping mechanisms in it. Also, I highly doubt that Ubuntu will decide to stick with Firefox as the default purely because one user who knows how to uninstall software and install an alternative expressed that they will change from the default.

Re:Ubuntu should stick with Firefox. (1)

correnos (1727834) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225468)

Chromium is an open source project. Open source projects have community developers. They have to look at the code to change it. They are not whining about privacy violations. As a user who has not looked over the source code and checked for the, uh, evil google snooping service, what makes you think you have some knowledge about Chromium's privacy issues? I think this is a great move for Ubuntu to a more modern and less bloated browser. Also it advances Webkit, the renderer that powers a huge selection of smaller browser projects I happen to like. In regards to plugins, the most important one in existence (adblock plus) works fine in Chromium, as do a decent selection of youtube downloaders. What are you complaining about again?

Re:Ubuntu should stick with Firefox. (1)

mmaniaci (1200061) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225598)

Google knows that 99.999% of users will keep Google as the default search on Chrome, so why would they ever need to add reporting mechanisms to the browser? I think the point of Chromium is to force the browser ecosystem to evolve, and not to spy on users.

Re:Ubuntu should stick with Firefox. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225640)

If Ubuntu omits Firefox, it will be the first thing I do on any new version, is remove Chromium, and to manually install Firefox.

Until Chromium has addons like Firefox I'm not interested in using it. If they actually go with Chrome, that will be a joke. I actually value my privacy rights, and I don't want Google's browser snooping on me, and reporting my web usage to their advertising servers.

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H264 patients in various countries (5, Informative)

Unfocused (723787) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225280)

"Only two countries in the world have software patents"

That's not exactly accurate - MPEG LA has been granted patients in numerous countries: http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/bz/archives/020400.html [mozillazine.org]

Re:H264 patients in various countries (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225492)

MPEG LA has been granted patients in numerous countries

Oh shit, they have overtaken health-care too?

Re:H264 patients in various countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225642)

Maybe they just miss doctors to analyze the patients...

Re:H264 patients in various countries (5, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225692)

As we saw with Decss it doesn't matter if other countries support the law. Us law is international law due to corrupt treaties paid by lobbyists. They can have the president issue an order like they did to poor Jon Johnsen for daring to have people watch their own dvds that they own on their own computers with Linux.

Unfortunately, this is not going away [msn.com] anytime soon.

For <audio> tag (3, Interesting)

figleaf (672550) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225350)

Please include support for mp3 and aac.

Thanks for creating this project. Support H.264 for the <video> tag is the right thing to do.
Good luck for your effort.

Uh, sourceforge is in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225362)

How do they expect to be able to host it at sourceforge?

Also, there are already patches to use gstreamer or similar, why is he talking about 'possible' or 'options for'???

Re:Uh, sourceforge is in the USA (2, Insightful)

moriya (195881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225442)

In the event that HTML5 takes off and the video markup becomes commonplace, Firefox would be the only browser that doesn't support it. By creating this project to have the codec support built into a Firefox codebase, Firefox can retain the userbase instead of losing out to other browser that implements H264 support. It is not simply adding support using some 3rd-party framework in place. Gstreamer is not commonly found in Windows-based systems and OS X probably has their own framework for multimedia playback and handling.

A lot of people still stick to Firefox due to extensions. Many are probably reluctant to even ditch or use anything else because of all the features that they depend on.

Soon we'll be at a crossroad where you have Firefox with HTML5 support but no H264 support, IE with H264 support with trivial HTML5 support, or Chrome. Where would the majority go with if it means being able to play back videos on HTML5-based YouTube?

Re:Uh, sourceforge is in the USA (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225672)

Wrong

H.264 is not html5. They are not related and this myth has to die. Firefox is the only browser that supports html5 that I am aware of right now

Shouldn't it be a user option? (2, Insightful)

grilled-cheese (889107) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225414)

This sounds an awful lot like other patent/export issues we've had in the past. Linux support for WMV, MP3, or DVD codecs as well as SSL encryption are restricted in various countries for patent and export reasons; yet many successful projects have enabled users to make the choice on these features. If a linux user chooses not to pay the appropriate patent license fees, it's not the media player's fault that a user made that choice. Likewise, shouldn't Mozilla simply find a way to load this support as a plugin for those on the planet not bound by US patent trolls?

Grammar note (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225424)

Split the damn infinitive! You are allowed to do that, stuffy English teachers be damned!

You might be interested in... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225546)

The person who started this 'project'
is a closet trans-sexual in denial.
For more information:
http://www.mayaposch.com/img/maya_vrouw_320px.jpg [mayaposch.com]

Maya has a feminine skeleton build, including secondary feminine
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                    glands). Maya was part of a twin in the womb, with a merging of both embryos being a possibility.

http://www.mayaposch.com/gallery/index.php?gallery=new_bikini&image=session_20080824%20002_cropped.jpg [mayaposch.com]

http://www.mayaposch.com/irregularities_case_Maya_Posch.php [mayaposch.com]

Public service for the community.

Only In Non Software Patent Countries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225626)

What's stopping me from just finding a copy and using it in whatever country I please? As soon as this hits the web, every nerd in the world is going to check it out, regardless of geological position.

Do it right (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225652)

If you really are considering a fork, it's a chance to do it right at last: go for platform-specific codec framework support out of the box. DirectShow on Windows, GStreamer on *nix, QuickTime (?) on OS X.

Say no to H.264 (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225664)

All this is doing is making H.264 standard and this is going to kill Linux and Firefox once the lawyers come out when it monopolizes the market.

This patent bs has got to stop. If enough users (firefox users) do not support it then we have a fighting chance to fight it.

Re:Say no to H.264 (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 3 years ago | (#32225786)

I don't care about patents or lawyers. The days of making something "standard" are evaporating - just an illusory method of control anyway you poke a stick at it.

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