Cisco has announced an H.264 decoder to be licensed under BSD which can be used in Mozilla Firefox, bringing H.264 to all browsers, ahead of next week's IETF meeting.
The H.265 codec standard, the successor of H.264, has been approved, promising support for 8k UHD and lower bandwidth, but the patent issues plaguing H.264 remain.
Historically, Mozilla has rejected the use of non-open codecs (such as H.264), a subject that has been covered before on InfoQ. The main reason is ideological; H.264 is covered by patents and licensed by the MPEG-LA. Could this stance be softening, with the proposal to allow platform-provided codecs for video support?
The MPEG-LA body, which oversees the H.264 patent pool, has announced a call for patents for the WebM/VP8 codec as they indicated last year. The creation of such a pool would damage WebM's position as a patent unencumbered codec, which could be damaging to the limited hardware decoding support starting to be developed.
After last week's announcement that the Chrome team was dropping support for H264, Mike Jazayeri has posted a more detailed explanation of the rationale behind the decision. Others, like the Free Software Foundation, have added their support to the decision.