[Libav-user] H.264 Decoder and Royalties

video_decoder michaelarice at gmail.com
Wed Nov 6 23:46:47 CET 2013

Hi Gonzalo -

Thanks for the response. When you say "pass the 10,000 mark", what is the
"10,000" referring to?

I've looked at the "SUMMARY OF AVC/H.264 LICENSE TERMS" document available
from MPEG-LA, and I still don't get it. In my situation, I have an analog
video camera that I'm going to feed into a video encoder board that allows
for multiple subscribers to the H.264 stream that it generates. My
application is a client to that encoder, and uses the H.264 decoder in libav
to decode the video stream and uses swscale to convert each of the frames to
RGB, which my application displays. The users of my application don't have
to pay to receive the video stream.

In my scenario, the maker of the video encoder hardware has (presumably)
paid the license fee for H.264, since they are the ones producing the

I guess I don't understand under what circumstances an H.264 decoder
(hardware or software) would require paying the license fee. For example,
why has Mozilla been reluctant to include H.264 in their browser until
recently, when Cisco announced they are making their H.264 component "open
source" and that they will pay the royalties for everyone who uses it? What
royalty would Mozilla have been responsible for if they simply embedded the
libav H.264 decoder as a component in their browser?

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