Cisco has been making some minor ripples in developer circles by offering up its H.264 codec as open source. For those readers not too familiar with video codec esoterica that simply means the bit of code needed to handle video at both ends of a WebRTC-enabled “call”.
H.264 is one of the most commonly used codecs these days and Cisco is keen that it be used natively, across the piste, in WebRTC implementations to avoid transcoding i.e. converting codecs from standard to standard. All very cumbersome and slowing.
But there’s also a commercial angle to this. As made clear in this post, Cisco plans to make available its H.264 codec as open source code. Moreover, it will pick up any royalties due to patent owners that might own bits and pieces of the code. In short, browser developers (like Mozilla) can use this particular codec free.