I don't see anything in there which says we wouldn't require one. Can you quote specific text that implies certain distributors of codecs don't require a license?
Typically when a patent holder makes a patent available royalty-free they don't say that "you don't require a license" ... that doesn't make much sense, since it's axiomatic that everyone who infringes a patent "requires a license". Instead they make a blanket grant of a free license to everyone, or grant something equivalent like a covenant to not sue. For example, see http://www.microsoft.com/Interop/osp/default.mspx
> You did not stop shipping plugin support in Firefox when Microsoft got
> sued. There is a multitude of other software patents that apply to
> Mozilla software. Why is this case in any way special?
Patents that are essential for implementing a Web standard (as the MPEG-LA patents threaten to be), are much more of a problem than patents like the Eolas patent that can be worked around or avoided in particular browser implementations.
Also, "stop shipping plugin support" was never been an option since it would not leave us with a viable browser. And yes, if shipping an H.264 codec is ever a necessity for being a viable browser, we'll try to find a way to ship one somehow. Compromise is better than irrelevance.
> Then you have to stop US
> downloads for Firefox or offer a crippled version instead. Their loss.
We'd be out millions of dollars and back where we started ... actually, even worse, since we would have to return to our free-codec efforts having lost time and credibility.
And remember, this entire discussion ignores the issues for content providers. Even if H.264 decoding was entirely unencumbered, having to pay MPEG-LA taxes to publish video on the Web is unacceptable.