Can someone explain the Mesa codec patent situation?


I recently found out Firefox and other players do NOT use my otherwise impressive GPU by default for playback (let alone for encoding, for example if I share my screen during a call at work…). This has been true for over 1 year now.

Because supposedly MPEG LA company holds a patent used in AVC, HEVC and some other video codec (VC-1 ?). With AVC still being the most widely used codec overall (well, youtube also relies on VP9…).

Can someone please detail a bit the patent situation ?

I mean how come Mesa-libva, used for AMD GPUs, can not implement the codec drivers, but other packages like intel-media-driver (and NVIDIA drivers) can ? Or how come Windows drivers can use the codecs, but not the Linux drivers ?

And is the codec not implemented in the hardware, right in the GPU ? So if I buy the hardware, do I not also pay for the codec ?

Even without the Mesa-libva drivers, I can still decode and play video using the CPU. So how come the CPU implementation is ok for the patent, but not the GPU implementation ?

This situation sounds so wrong. Did MPEG LA actually say anything about this subject ?

Timothy Madden

@timothy Have a read here

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