Canonical are currently the only Linux company to license H.264/AVC, the patented non-free technology used to compress video and favoured by companies such as Apple & Microsoft for HTML5 Video. Neither RedHat, makers of Fedora, or Novell, makers of Suse, appear on the list of over 800 licensee's. What’s interesting is that the rival, if you will, to H.264 is the free and open codec Ogg Theroa which one would naturally assume would be the favoured choice for a Linux distribution’s parent to support. With Canonical putting their weight behind H.264 and already having the most popular desktop Linux distribution this might tip the scales to H264 adoption for HTML5 video on the web. And does this mean Ubuntu 10.04 LTS users are covered and can install H.264 to their systems without worrying about patent issues?
So much for Linux distributors supporting free and open standards like