[whatwg] The issue of interoperability of the <video> element

Maik Merten maikmerten at gmx.net
Wed Jun 27 08:48:10 PDT 2007

Nicholas Shanks schrieb:
> This is only possible if the codec is free. I thought we were talking
> about the problem of adding non-free codecs (namely WMV and MPEG4) to
> free software, (possibly also involving reverse-engineering the codec).

Reverse-engineering doesn't lead to usable implementations of non-free
formats. You end up having *sourcecode* with a free license attached to
it, but you're not allowed to *distribute* actual binaries of that code
because the codec is still covered by patents.

Take for example libavcodec: That actually has WMV support and its
sourcecode is open. However, thanks to the MPEG and Microsoft codecs
being patented (and because those patents are enforced) you cannot put
it into Mozilla.

"Open source" usually only covers copyright. Truly free codecs are open
sourced AND don't require patent licensing.

Maik Merten

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