Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st May 2010 06:49 UTC
Legal Let the spreading of FUD begin! Known patent troll Larry Horn, CEO of MPEG-LA, is clearly feeling the heat - a heat that might set fire to his company's license to print money. After a decade of empty threats towards Theora, the company is apparently putting its it's-impossible-to-create-a-video-codec-that-doesn't-infringe-on-our-stuff attitude into practice once again, by assembling a patent pool to go after VP8. Google, in the meantime, is not impressed.
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Hmmm
by woegjiub on Fri 21st May 2010 07:00 UTC
woegjiub
Member since:
2008-11-25

There's only really one thing which can be said...

Wow, those MPEG-LA guys are a bunch of dicks.


I don't mind them attempting to use h.264's supposedly superior quality as leverage to make people adopt it, but... This is blatantly anticompetitive and inexcusable.

Reply Score: 10

v RE: Hmmm
by Karitku on Fri 21st May 2010 07:26 UTC in reply to "Hmmm"
RE[2]: Hmmm
by RichterKuato on Fri 21st May 2010 07:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm"
RichterKuato Member since:
2010-05-14

The same goes for people who claim ownership of celestial bodies, genes, plant, animals, water, air, mathematical truths, etc. I have all right to use them without their permission. Fuck the giant mega corporations that claim exclusive control over a abstract idea at the expense of everyone else.


Fixed

Reply Score: 13

v RE: Hmmm
by Fettarme H-Milch on Fri 21st May 2010 09:04 UTC in reply to "Hmmm"
RE[2]: Hmmm
by Kroc on Fri 21st May 2010 09:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

...which predates H.264

Reply Score: 5

v RE[3]: Hmmm
by Fettarme H-Milch on Fri 21st May 2010 11:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm"
RE[4]: Hmmm
by Kroc on Fri 21st May 2010 13:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

And VP3 predates H264 where the patents will originate from. VP7/8 build upon that. If MPEG-LA went against VP8 then H264 will suffer heavier losses than VP8. If the MPEG-LA had such a water tight case why haven't they done anything about the On2 codecs in 10 years?

It's because MPEG-LA know that they are probably infringing upon On2's codecs but have had their huge might and monetary backing keeping from On2 doing anything about it.

The best form of defence is offence. (Or FUD, in this case).

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Hmmm
by tf123 on Fri 21st May 2010 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hmmm"
tf123 Member since:
2010-01-28

Your comment is only relevant if VP7/8 is indistinguishable from VP3. Certainly in the last 8 years ON2 added new technology to the intervening formats between VP3 and VP7/8.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Hmmm
by JAlexoid on Fri 21st May 2010 21:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hmmm"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

It's because MPEG-LA know that they are probably infringing upon On2's codecs but have had their huge might and monetary backing keeping from On2 doing anything about it.

The best form of defence is offence. (Or FUD, in this case).

MPEG-LA are definitely not infringing. They don't own the patents. Their business model is collective patent licensing administration(witch is rather smart business model). They are the company that tries to drag into this a lot of companies and make sure their income flows stay stable.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Hmmm
by l3v1 on Fri 21st May 2010 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

It is quite ignorant to throw around dates in this case. Whether patents originating from vp3 (2002 mind you) and later evolution towards vp8 is protected enough, remains to be seen. But whether h.264 has any connection whatsoever with vp8, that's far from being a matter of who was here first. Included technologies have nothing to do with patent and release dates.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by cerbie
by cerbie on Fri 21st May 2010 07:05 UTC
cerbie
Member since:
2006-01-02

Awww, you poh wittle monopowist,

*pats head, ruffles hair*

See, what's great about Google is that they can afford the lawyers. Xiph/Theora, FI, would be more of a risk due to not knowing if they could do that, than anything to do with the codec. With so many companies on board who are competitors with one another, and also have been in with H.264, I just don't see this going well for the MPEG LA.

Maybe we'll have some good drawn-put entertainment at Groklaw, again?

P.S.

Een kat in het nauw maakt rare sprongen
When putting up sayings in other languages than that of the main article, could you maybe have a footnote? FI, here's Google's English hit #1 for that phrase:
http://www.littleboylover.com/CLResistance/archives/tag/party-for-n...

... O_O. It turns out not to exist (I reflexively clicked it--first Google hit, after all), but, er...you know, a footnote would have been nice. Also, for anyone else, it appears to be, "a cat in a corner acts strangely," if I can trust a random Flickr commenter.

Edited 2010-05-21 07:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by cerbie
by edogawaconan on Fri 21st May 2010 07:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by cerbie"
edogawaconan Member since:
2006-10-10

According to google translate, it is "A cat in a corner makes crazy jumps."

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by cerbie
by cerbie on Fri 21st May 2010 07:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by cerbie"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

But, don't you need to know what langauge it is, first?

*tests it*

Oh, it automatically detects. Google, thou art [more] awesome [than I thought you were before just now].

Edited 2010-05-21 07:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by cerbie
by Savior on Fri 21st May 2010 11:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by cerbie"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

But, don't you need to know what langauge it is, first?


Even if you hadn't known it already, a short look at Thom's profile page would have given you a few hints ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by cerbie
by cerbie on Fri 21st May 2010 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by cerbie"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

But that takes time and effort. The whole point of just doing a Google search is that I can do ctrl-c, ctrl-k, and ctrl-k with my left hand, while my right hand stays using the mouse. It's easy (lazy). ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by cerbie
by Kroc on Fri 21st May 2010 07:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by cerbie"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

We have a phrase in English "Do not back a cat into a corner".

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by cerbie
by tyrione on Fri 21st May 2010 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by cerbie"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

We have a phrase in English "Do not back a cat into a corner".


That's regarding a mother protecting her kin.

Another version is you either fight or flee.

Regardless, Google was the aggressor and is backing H.264 into a corner which is a patent pool of massive producers/vendors who will defend their IP vehemently.

That was what Jobs warned people about what was coming.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by cerbie
by 1c3d0g on Fri 21st May 2010 22:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by cerbie"
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

How can Google be an "aggressor" if they're the only company with enough BALLS to give us ALL a completely FREE video format so we can get rid of the reliance on Flash? Explain me that and I'll show you a green dog (note: you can't).

Besides, On2 produced their video codecs way before h.264 came into existence, so whichever way you twist it, the MPEG cartel have lost their case already. Taking Google to court over this matter will only be a very miserable, humiliating and futile experience for the MPEG cartel.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by cerbie
by Fergy on Fri 21st May 2010 11:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by cerbie"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

P.S. "Een kat in het nauw maakt rare sprongen
When putting up sayings in other languages than that of the main article, could you maybe have a footnote? "
I think you can trust Thom to not put important information in weird languages ;)
Daarom heb ik het belangrijke gedeelte in Engels getikt en mijn grapje in Nederlands.

Reply Score: 1

No Need to Sue
by tf123 on Fri 21st May 2010 08:14 UTC
tf123
Member since:
2010-01-28

As I mentioned in the previous post, MPEGLA doesn't even have to sue or threaten to sue (for risk of violating Google's absurd license). All MPEGLA has to do is do a patent review of the "spec" and begin their own patent pool. The industry will willingly pay the license fees because licensing fees are an accepted part of the industry, and the industry craves legal protections, and the entire notion of VP8 being patent-free will grind to a halt.

It will then be in Google's court to actually certify the format as an international standard where it will be independently reviewed for patents, or to modify the license to provide indemnification from patent litigation.

Edited 2010-05-21 08:16 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: No Need to Sue
by Tuxie on Fri 21st May 2010 08:43 UTC in reply to "No Need to Sue"
Tuxie Member since:
2009-04-22

I'm sure Google has enough patents of their own to blackmail MPEG-LA into a "we will never again make any patent claims against VP8" type contract. Which is a good thing. This just shows the absurdity of the whole patent system.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: No Need to Sue
by Fettarme H-Milch on Fri 21st May 2010 09:13 UTC in reply to "RE: No Need to Sue"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

I'm sure Google has enough patents of their own to blackmail MPEG-LA into a "we will never again make any patent claims against VP8" type contract.

You just showed that you have no clue how the MPEG-LA works. The MPEG-LA does not own any patents. It's merely an agency that negotiates the claims of the actual patent holders and it does so on a non-exclusive basis.

That's why the MPEG-LA can't sign a contract you're proposing. The MPEG-LA has no exclusive rights to those patents. If one party does not license the entire pool of patents via the MPEG-LA, the individual patent owners like (let's say) Sony can -- and probably will -- sue on their own.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No Need to Sue
by bhtooefr on Fri 21st May 2010 09:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No Need to Sue"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

The other thing is, Google could sue the individual patent holders in this pool, if they're practicing entities, and they're infringing on Google's VP8 patents.

Or, I wonder if the slander/libel laws could come into play somehow, to counter the FUD?

Reply Score: 1

RE: No Need to Sue
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 21st May 2010 08:54 UTC in reply to "No Need to Sue"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

As I mentioned in the previous post, MPEGLA doesn't even have to sue or threaten to sue (for risk of violating Google's absurd license). All MPEGLA has to do is do a patent review of the "spec" and begin their own patent pool. The industry will willingly pay the license fees because licensing fees are an accepted part of the industry, and the industry craves legal protections, and the entire notion of VP8 being patent-free will grind to a halt.


You do realise you just described how the maffia works, right?

Reply Score: 15

RE[2]: No Need to Sue
by tf123 on Fri 21st May 2010 11:24 UTC in reply to "RE: No Need to Sue"
tf123 Member since:
2010-01-28

You do realize I didn't write the silly license, right?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No Need to Sue
by Lazarus on Fri 21st May 2010 14:21 UTC in reply to "RE: No Need to Sue"
Lazarus Member since:
2005-08-10

Take this as me modding you up.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No Need to Sue
by lemur2 on Fri 21st May 2010 10:49 UTC in reply to "No Need to Sue"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

As I mentioned in the previous post, MPEGLA doesn't even have to sue or threaten to sue (for risk of violating Google's absurd license). All MPEGLA has to do is do a patent review of the "spec" and begin their own patent pool. The industry will willingly pay the license fees because licensing fees are an accepted part of the industry, and the industry craves legal protections, and the entire notion of VP8 being patent-free will grind to a halt.


You really see things with rose coloured glasses, don't you? This is very easy for Google to counter.

1. All MPEGLA has to do is do a patent review of the "spec" and begin their own patent pool.

In order to do this, MPEG LA has to explicitly name the patents which it believes are in this pool.

In order to counter, all Google has to do is say: VP8 does not use the methods described in patents x, y and z. VP8 does use methods similar to those described in patents p, q, and r, but the methods VP8 uses are slightly different and are actually covered by Google-owned patents l, m and o.

2. The industry will willingly pay the license fees because licensing fees are an accepted part of the industry, and the industry craves legal protections

Why should the industry pay MPEG LA a license fee for patents x, y and z that are not used in VP8, or for patents p, q, and r when Google are giving them a free license to use patents l, m and o in VP8?

Once MPEG LA nominate whatever specific patents are alleged in MPEG LA's "VP8 patent pool", Google can easily indemnify people against those specific patents.

Edited 2010-05-21 10:52 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: No Need to Sue
by bitwelder on Fri 21st May 2010 11:26 UTC in reply to "RE: No Need to Sue"
bitwelder Member since:
2010-04-27

Why should the industry pay MPEG LA a license fee for patents x, y and z that are not used in VP8, or for patents p, q, and r when Google are giving them a free license to use patents l, m and o in VP8?

Which IMHO corresponds to what Horn was admitting in his answer with "there have been expressions of interest from the market urging us to..."

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No Need to Sue
by tf123 on Fri 21st May 2010 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE: No Need to Sue"
tf123 Member since:
2010-01-28

All you did was say, "Google should say they didn't infringe any patents." Ooh, good defense.

Of course, MPEGLA will identify their patents.

If they are valid patents, Google isn't going to indemnify anyone, anything.

Hell, they could indemnify everyone, right NOW, from ALL litigation if they were really so confident there was no patent infringement of any kind. You are the one who keeps saying that Google is so cracker jack, they can't possible have messed up their due diligence.

Edited 2010-05-21 11:31 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: No Need to Sue
by lemur2 on Fri 21st May 2010 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No Need to Sue"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

All you did was say, "Google should say they didn't infringe any patents." Ooh, good defense.

Of course, MPEGLA will identify their patents.

If they are valid patents, Google isn't going to indemnify anyone, anything.


As soon as MPEG LA identify which specific patents they allege, then this mechanism comes into play:

1. USPTO is supposed to only award patents for new inventions.

2. MPEG LA and On2 were both designing video codecs over the same period.

3. MPEG LA and On2 were both applying for patents on their "invented" methods, some of which they were granted, other applications were denied.

4. For each denial, USPTO would offer a reason.

5. If the reason for denial was: "prior art, not new" or "too obvious" ... then that method can still be used. No-one can patent it. There are a huge array of methods that fall into this category.

6. If the reason for denial was: "another patent already granted", then this method is clearly to be avoided. Use another method instead to achieve the same (desired) effect.

7. If the patent application was granted, then that method can obviously be used. You are now the patent owner.

8. Back to point 5: if another patent WAS granted later to another party for such a method, then your earlier patent submission that was denied can be used as evidence of prior art. Here, the USPTO goofed, and the later patent is invalidated.

The end result: both MPEG LA and On2 each end up with a codec that does not infringe on the other's patents.


Please explain how you think that the above mechanism doesn't apply, and VP8 has ended up using some method that is patented by MPEG LA, despite On2's development process, USPTO's patent awarding diligence, and Google's patent search.

Also, please explain why that doesn't apply vice-versa, and there cannot be an On2 patent (now owned by Google) that applies to a method used by H.264.

This will be interesting.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[4]: No Need to Sue
by tf123 on Fri 21st May 2010 13:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No Need to Sue"
RE[5]: No Need to Sue
by lemur2 on Fri 21st May 2010 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No Need to Sue"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Because your steps are fairyland wishful thinking that you have no basis for believing is true?


Smell the desperation.

Sorry troll, but you will have to do better than that.

The vast, vast majority of software methods are not patentable. There are a multitude of possible solutions to a given problem (in this case, methods of implementing a video codec). The territory is littered with patent minefields, it is true, but, to draw a little mind-picture for you, they are like fishing nets in the vastness of the Pacific ocean.

Two independent teams, both casting their own nets in any promising new waters, with a fishing authority to warn if either of them wants to cast a net in the same waters as the other has already cast theirs ... I hope I have started to draw that little picture in your head.

The fishing authority has strict rules that no two fishing vessels may cast their net in the same waters. Google has surveyed all of On2's fishing grounds, and reports that there are no MPEG LA nets anywhere in sight, just as one would expect it to be.

Why is this scenario so impossible for you to imagine?

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: No Need to Sue
by tf123 on Fri 21st May 2010 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: No Need to Sue"
tf123 Member since:
2010-01-28

What desperation? I have patiently answered and replied to most of your completely incoherent posts.

I don't understand your scenario because you keep running off at the handle with your own bizarro world fantasy scenarios that have no basis in reality.

It is quite simple for a recent and significant h.264 to have been misused by ON2. Yes, the reverse is also true. But for a number of reasons, it is far less likely to be so in reason. Still possible yes. This doesn't really explain how you said about 25 times that their is no way ON2 could misuse a MPEGLA patent because they are not in the patent pool or what the hell fish nets have to do with anything.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: No Need to Sue
by cerbie on Fri 21st May 2010 16:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No Need to Sue"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

The thing is, the same can be said for H.264/MPEG LA. It is of no consequence until the patents that allegedly are infringed upon are put forth.

There is no way to be 100% sure that your invention does not infringe on a patent, without explicitly using only methods declared in expired patents. Even the MPEG LA cannot guarantee that H.264 does not infringe on patents held outside of their influence, however unlikely it may be.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: No Need to Sue
by boldingd on Tue 25th May 2010 22:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No Need to Sue"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Of course, MPEGLA will identify their patents.


They've been claiming they hold infringed patents for some time, and they haven't shown anything concrete yet. Why do you think that this time they'll finally be able to come up with something tangible?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No Need to Sue
by sorpigal on Fri 21st May 2010 13:02 UTC in reply to "RE: No Need to Sue"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I know where you're coming from, but here's how I see it going down.

MPEG-LA creates a "VP8 indemnification" license which can be bought for a fee, which will always cost more than an h264 license.

MPEG-LA 'suggests' in non-binding ways, such as in the press, that VP8 infringes on its patents. It never names which patents.

Companies, fearful of a potential suit, buy the VP8 license or, looking purely at the bottom line, go with h264 instead.

MPEG-LA wins without ever firing a shot.

The only way this doesn't happen would be...

-1) MPEG-LA really has patents that VP8 violates and really wants to kill it, so they sue Google and win with shots fired.

-2) Google decides that the VP8 indemnification license is slanderous and sues MPEG-LA to make them stop offering it. MPEG-LA loses.

That's about all.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: No Need to Sue
by lemur2 on Fri 21st May 2010 13:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No Need to Sue"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

MPEG-LA creates a "VP8 indemnification" license which can be bought for a fee, which will always cost more than an h264 license.

MPEG-LA 'suggests' in non-binding ways, such as in the press, that VP8 infringes on its patents. It never names which patents.


This is obvious fraud. It is not legal behaviour.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protection_racket

Edited 2010-05-21 13:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: No Need to Sue
by Jezza on Sat 22nd May 2010 12:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No Need to Sue"
Jezza Member since:
2005-10-13

How is this any different to the indemnification licenses that MS is selling to cover their patents in Linux? They've been doing it for years and nobody has made any legal moves to stop them because it is fraudulent.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: No Need to Sue
by lemur2 on Sat 22nd May 2010 13:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No Need to Sue"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

How is this any different to the indemnification licenses that MS is selling to cover their patents in Linux? They've been doing it for years and nobody has made any legal moves to stop them because it is fraudulent.


Linux doesn't have an "owner". There are no patents covering Linux.

(However, Microsoft has no IP in Linux either, Microsoft did not write even one line of Linux, and anyone approached by Microsoft about Linux should tell Microsoft to go jump).

Neither of those is true when it comes to WebM. Google owns WebM, WebM is covered by Google-owned patents, and Google offers everyone a conditional license to use WebM. A license is actually "permission to use".

You don't need permission twice.

You are already licensed (by Google) to run WebM.

If anyone tries to suggest you need more than that permission, then that is directly fraudulent.

If MPEG LA tries this on, Google can sue them for "Slander of title" and "tortious interference", I would think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference

Edited 2010-05-22 13:35 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: No Need to Sue
by chris_l on Sat 22nd May 2010 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: No Need to Sue"
chris_l Member since:
2010-02-14

"How is this any different to the indemnification licenses that MS is selling to cover their patents in Linux? They've been doing it for years and nobody has made any legal moves to stop them because it is fraudulent.


Linux doesn't have an "owner". There are no patents covering Linux.

(However, Microsoft has no IP in Linux either, Microsoft did not write even one line of Linux, and anyone approached by Microsoft about Linux should tell Microsoft to go jump).

Neither of those is true when it comes to WebM. Google owns WebM, WebM is covered by Google-owned patents, and Google offers everyone a conditional license to use WebM. A license is actually "permission to use".

You don't need permission twice.

You are already licensed (by Google) to run WebM.

If anyone tries to suggest you need more than that permission, then that is directly fraudulent.

If MPEG LA tries this on, Google can sue them for "Slander of title" and "tortious interference", I would think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference
"


And the real beauty here is if MPEG-LA does in fact sue Google, Google can simply drop support for x.264 period, which would be the best possible outcome.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No Need to Sue
by boldingd on Tue 25th May 2010 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE: No Need to Sue"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Why should the industry pay MPEG LA a license fee for patents x, y and z that are not used in VP8, or for patents p, q, and r when Google are giving them a free license to use patents l, m and o in VP8?


Because companies are risk-averse. Potential patent litigation, even if it's baseless, is a risk with a significant potential (if very unlikely) loss. If purchasing the license removes the risk, and the cost of the license is lower than the cost of (loss due to) the litigation, adjusted for the likelyhood of a loss occurring, then it is rational for a corporation to purchase the license.

Obviously, this is pretty much extortion, and I'm not saying it's not. I'm asking the exact question asked, "why would a company participate in what amounts to extortion." ;)

Reply Score: 2

v Holding back innovation ?
by tuzor on Fri 21st May 2010 08:42 UTC
RE: Holding back innovation ?
by Tuxie on Fri 21st May 2010 08:47 UTC in reply to "Holding back innovation ?"
Tuxie Member since:
2009-04-22

MPEG-LA have so many generic patents on video compression and are even proudly claiming that "it's impossible to create a video codec without infringing on our patents!".

If that's not stifling innovation I don't know what is.

Reply Score: 8

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

MPEG-LA have so many generic patents on video compression and are even proudly claiming that "it's impossible to create a video codec without infringing on our patents!"

The MPEG-LA never said that for the simple reason that the MPEG-LA does not own any patents at all.
They just negotiate deals between patent holders and parties who wish to use those patented techniques.

Reply Score: 1

MissTJones Member since:
2010-03-25

Your half-right, but also very wrong.

The MPEG-LA is best known for creating patent pools for standards e.g. the MPEG codecs, but also Firewire and other royalty-bearing industry standards.

In those cases you're right, they don't own the patents, they just get all the patent holders together to bash out terms acceptable to them all and (hopefully) the market. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail (notable failures include MPEG-4 part 2 which caused Apple to refuse to release the newer version of Quicktime using the codecs until the licence terms were changed and never caught on in the web leaving the market open for Flash and On2's VP6 codec, and Firewire which prompted Dell, HP etc to get together to promote the royalty free USB2 instead).

But, in just the last few months, the MPEG-LA has created a shell company called MobileMedia that actually owns some patents and is suing Apple, HTC and RIM over them. There's a story about it here:

http://www.osnews.com/story/23258/MPEG-LA-owned_Patent_Troll_Sues_S...

You might recognize that link, because it the very first one given in this article.

Edited 2010-05-21 11:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Guys, seriously!
by Fettarme H-Milch on Fri 21st May 2010 09:01 UTC
Fettarme H-Milch
Member since:
2010-02-16

If you want to design a patent-free codec, use techniques that are actually not patented!

BBC did this with Dirac. Xiph also did this with Vorbis.

If VP8 uses patented techniques, it's not the MPEG-LA's fault! It's On2's fault to design a violating codec in the first place!
As written in the now well known analysis of VP8 http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/?p=377 that codec is just a slightly modified h.264/AVC Baseline codec.

Considering that On2 was also producing h.264 codecs, the design of VP8 was no mistake. On2 knew what they were doing.
After reading how similar VP8 and h.264 Baseline are on a technical level, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually used the same code base to generate both VP8 and h.264 files -- just some variables were redefined.

This just strengthens the case of all the people who say since years that Dirac+Vorbis+Matroska is the way to go.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Guys, seriously!
by asdf on Fri 21st May 2010 09:49 UTC in reply to "Guys, seriously!"
asdf Member since:
2009-09-23

It doesn't really matter who copied whom. Google just needs to have reasonable amount of backing patents, enough industry support and deep pocket. That's how patent system works. The whole system is not working very well and as much as MPEG LA can use the system to fuck everyone else, Google can use the same loop holes to fuck MPEG LA. So, if you think the patent system is good, there's nothing to complain. Google is doing exactly the same thing MPEG LA has been doing for years. AFAIK, MPEG LA hasn't patented how to fuck other people yet.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Guys, seriously!
by Fettarme H-Milch on Fri 21st May 2010 10:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Guys, seriously!"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

It doesn't really matter who copied whom. Google just needs to have reasonable amount of backing patents, enough industry support and deep pocket.

The main holders of patents related to codecs are companies in the camera business, audio and video software producers, telecom companies ((video)calls have to be transmitted somehow), and the like.
They already happily submitted theirs patents to the MPEG LA pools.

Why should they give Google their patents for free? Especially the patent holders with a bleak financial situation (eg. possibly Sony) surely want those patent fees.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Guys, seriously!
by lemur2 on Fri 21st May 2010 10:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Guys, seriously!"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"It doesn't really matter who copied whom. Google just needs to have reasonable amount of backing patents, enough industry support and deep pocket.

The main holders of patents related to codecs are companies in the camera business, audio and video software producers, telecom companies ((video)calls have to be transmitted somehow), and the like.
They already happily submitted theirs patents to the MPEG LA pools.

Why should they give Google their patents for free? Especially the patent holders with a bleak financial situation (eg. possibly Sony) surely want those patent fees.
"

Why should Google require their patents when it has On2 patents for the patentable methods used in VP8?

See here for explanation:

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?425873

Edited 2010-05-21 10:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Guys, seriously!
by asdf on Fri 21st May 2010 13:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Guys, seriously!"
asdf Member since:
2009-09-23

Hey, why are all those companies on MPEG LA infringing on the good and golden patents held by Google through acquisition of On2? Blemish!

When there's a dispute, the only and ultimate way to determine who actually owns what is through legal process which often costs a lot of money regardless of the outcome. That exactly is why MPEG LA could have maintained their influence upto this point. Google is just doing the same thing. Just the table has been turned.

So, if you believe that the current patent system actually represents proper IP ownership and are contend with the way it works, which MPEG LA has been taking advantage of so well, there really is nothing to complain about. It's the game you support, played by a different player. Where the hell is the problem?

If you're still unsatisfied, please feel free to go ahead and file a lawsuit. :-)

Edited 2010-05-21 14:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Guys, seriously!
by sorpigal on Fri 21st May 2010 13:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Guys, seriously!"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Google just needs to have reasonable amount of backing patents, enough industry support and deep pocket.

No, that's not sufficient. That will only be enough to protect Google from MPEG-LA. What about e.g. Mozilla and hundreds of small free software projects and Linux distributions?

To beat this you must show that VP8 is non-infringing, or that it infringes on invalid patents, not just show enough muscle to enter in to a cross-licensing deal. Having your own patents doesn't help unless they prove that your opponents patents are invalid.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Guys, seriously!
by asdf on Fri 21st May 2010 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Guys, seriously!"
asdf Member since:
2009-09-23

There are multiple ways to play the game and I'm fairly sure the good lawyers did their due diligence. No need to be too scared. Nothing is perfect. You play with what you're dealt with and if the cards look good enough, it's good enough. HTC or any other vendors are not dropping their androids, right? Just grab a popcorn and watch the show. It's not like only MPEG LA has good lawyers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Guys, seriously!
by lemur2 on Fri 21st May 2010 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Guys, seriously!"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Having your own patents doesn't help unless they prove that your opponents patents are invalid.


Being a player in the field for many years, and having constantly applied for your own patents, is most certainly a great help.

Step 1: You devise a new method that has potential to improve your codec, and you apply for a patent for it. There are four possible outcomes:

1.a USPTO rejects your patent application, telling you that it is too obvious and not inventive, and therefore your proposed method is ineligible for a patent.
1.b USPTO rejects your patent application, telling you that it there is prior art, and therefore your proposed method is ineligible for a patent.
1.c USPTO rejects your patent application, telling you that there is already a patent awarded for this method, and therefore your proposed method is ineligible for a patent.
1.d USPTO awards you a patent on your method.

Step 2.
2.a In the event that 1.a, 1.b or 1.d has happened, you can now safely go ahead and use that method.
2.b In the event that 1.c happens, you must now devise a distinctly different method for achieving the same effect that you desire, and then apply for a patent for that different method (i.e. go back to step 1).

Step 3. Having gathered a set of safe methods to use, you go ahead and code your codec, and then optimise it.

Step 4. You now have a working codec that should be immune from attack by other patent trolls, and you also have a set of defensive patents (which you never licensed to your competitor) for those methods that went via step 1.d.

This four-step process was never followed by Xiph.org for Theora, but it was certainly followed by On2 for the whole VPn series of codecs.

Edited 2010-05-21 15:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Guys, seriously!
by JAlexoid on Fri 21st May 2010 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Guys, seriously!"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19


Step 1: You devise a new method that has potential to improve your codec, and you apply for a patent for it. There are four possible outcomes:

1.a USPTO rejects your patent application, telling you that it is too obvious and not inventive, and therefore your proposed method is ineligible for a patent.
1.b USPTO rejects your patent application, telling you that it there is prior art, and therefore your proposed method is ineligible for a patent.
1.c USPTO rejects your patent application, telling you that there is already a patent awarded for this method, and therefore your proposed method is ineligible for a patent.
1.d USPTO awards you a patent on your method.


Yet, with a reasonably good patent lawyer the only outcome will be 1.d.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Guys, seriously!
by lemur2 on Sat 22nd May 2010 10:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Guys, seriously!"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Step 1: You devise a new method that has potential to improve your codec, and you apply for a patent for it. There are four possible outcomes:

1.a USPTO rejects your patent application, telling you that it is too obvious and not inventive, and therefore your proposed method is ineligible for a patent.
1.b USPTO rejects your patent application, telling you that it there is prior art, and therefore your proposed method is ineligible for a patent.
1.c USPTO rejects your patent application, telling you that there is already a patent awarded for this method, and therefore your proposed method is ineligible for a patent.
1.d USPTO awards you a patent on your method.


Yet, with a reasonably good patent lawyer the only outcome will be 1.d.
"

Well, I suppose so.

The interesting thing is, I suppose, that 1.a and 1.b are also very useful outcomes.

On2 has been in the video codec game for a long, long while. They have been in it longer that quite a few of the MPEG LA licensors. During that time, they not only have collected many patents, but they would have applied for a lot more. On2 would have a fair number of 1.a and 1.b results from patent applications during their history, as well as 1.d outcomes (where they actually got a patent).

This means that if the USPTO got lax later on, and awarded someone a patent for a method that is used now in VP8, it is actually quite likely that way back in its history On2 had already applied and been rejected. It seems to me that USPTO has become more liberal in awarding patents over time.

Anyway, the point is, if MPEG LA come up with a patent they accuse VP8 of violating, it is quite possible that Google can point to an earlier rejected application by On2 for a patent on that same method.

Previous applications for a patent, even though rejected (via 1.a or 1.b), still count as documented prior art.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Guys, seriously!
by sorpigal on Sat 22nd May 2010 18:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Guys, seriously!"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I don't dispute any of these facts, I dispute their usefulness.

Suppose that On2 didn't file for a patent for one or more techniques that they happen to use. Maybe they thought it was obvious, maybe they didn't realize it was patentable, maybe they didn't consider it valuable. For whatever reason let's say there is a technique they used for VP8 which is covered by a patent and they don't know it.

Under such a scenario having some parts of VP8 covered by On2 patents does Google a lot of good when the resulting patent lawsuit erupts, but does third parties no good at all. Nobody cares if Google can defend itself and keep using VP8. What matters is that everyone can keep using VP8 without buying a license or mounting an expensive legal defense.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Guys, seriously!
by lemur2 on Sun 23rd May 2010 11:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Guys, seriously!"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I don't dispute any of these facts, I dispute their usefulness.

Suppose that On2 didn't file for a patent for one or more techniques that they happen to use. Maybe they thought it was obvious, maybe they didn't realize it was patentable, maybe they didn't consider it valuable. For whatever reason let's say there is a technique they used for VP8 which is covered by a patent and they don't know it.


This is precisely the reason why Google needed to do a thorough patent search after they bought On2 and before they made the announcement about opening VP8. Despite there being a methodical way to develop a product even in the midst of a patent minefield, nevertheless it is possible that a mistake such as you describe could have been made.

The result of Google's due diligence patent search was, however, that there are no such problems for VP8. Google have stated they are very confident of this. For every non-trivial method used in the design of VP8, Google are confident they either have a patent for that method, or that there is well-documented prior art (perhaps in the form of a rejected patent application wherein the method is described, or perhaps in some other form, such as one of On2's very early codecs).

Edited 2010-05-23 11:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Guys, seriously!
by sorpigal on Sun 23rd May 2010 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Guys, seriously!"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I'd like to believe it but I can't.

There wasn't time to be sufficiently thorough.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Guys, seriously!
by lemur2 on Mon 24th May 2010 04:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Guys, seriously!"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'd like to believe it but I can't. There wasn't time to be sufficiently thorough.


When you come up with a new method and you wish to patent it, you should first do a patent search and see if it is already patented. That takes ages, because you have to sift through a huge number of patents.

However, doing it the other way around:
For every non-trivial method used in the design of VP8, Google are confident they either have a patent for that method, or that there is well-documented prior art (perhaps in the form of a rejected patent application wherein the method is described, or perhaps in some other form, such as one of On2's very early codecs).


... for each method used in a design, is there patent coverage (in one way or another) ... that is an entirely different kettle of fish.

This way around, we are not sifting through all patents looking for a method, but rather we are sifting through a much smaller number of methods (those embodied in the VP8 design) and checking their patent coverage.

That is a much simpler task.

Reply Score: 2

More about exclusion than paying
by ciaran on Fri 21st May 2010 09:41 UTC
ciaran
Member since:
2006-11-27

> Microsoftian attempt to get companies to pay for a VP8

It's not about "paying". MS also pays to use the MPEG-LA patent pool - it's a financial loss for MS. But, it's a win when it excludes projects that can't sign the standard licence agreement, e.g. free software projects.

swpat.org is starting to gather info here:

http://en.swpat.org/wiki/On2_VP8

Reply Score: 3

What a Joke
by Headrush on Fri 21st May 2010 10:56 UTC
Headrush
Member since:
2006-01-03

Article after arcticle just ripping the MPEG-LA and references that it's all just FUD and all they are are patent trolls. Yet here we are the VP8 backers just doing the same thing and making just as many vague and unproven opinions and trying to pass them off as facts.

The industry support for WebM and VP8 is already quite extensive, and I don't think the companies that make up the MPEG-LA are willing to anger all those big boys. This is probably nothing more than a Microsoftian attempt to get companies to pay for a VP8/WebM license from the MPEG-LA that Google already stated quite clearly they don't need.

I especially like that. They assembled these patents but they're afraid of upsetting these companies, come on people.

If we truly want a free, open and patent free video codec for the web, we want this to go to the courts. It's the only way for sure to finally put any of these issues to bed.

We can't really on the "I don't think it's in violation", or "Google says they think it's OK", or "So and so thinks...". Isn't this the same thing we have been ripping the MPEG-LA for also?

Whether we agree with it or not the MPEG-LA does have an incredibly vast collection of video and audio patents in their pool. That is simply just an undeniable fact. The sooner we find out legally, the better for all of us.

Reply Score: 3

v RE: What a Joke
by tf123 on Fri 21st May 2010 12:00 UTC in reply to "What a Joke"
RE[2]: What a Joke
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 21st May 2010 12:03 UTC in reply to "RE: What a Joke"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

He is a patent troll. Apart from his job as CEO of the MPEG-LA, he is the CEO of a patent troll company owned by the MPEG-LA. The link is right there. There is nothing "FUD" about that. It's plain old fact.

This thread proves we can have trolls about everything - even the MPEG-LA. I think we might have to shut down OSNews.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: What a Joke
by tf123 on Fri 21st May 2010 13:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a Joke"
tf123 Member since:
2010-01-28

We can quibble over patent troll, but I will concede it in this matter (I still dont see how using such language is not the language of FUD.) But...

Where is your evidence of "feeling the heat"? (He said people in the market place are asking for indemnification.)

Your evidence that mpeg-la's entire purpose for being and source of revenue will evaporate? (You actually think TV broadcasts, mobile video transmissions (including satellites), DVDs, BluRay disks will all of a sudden jump ship for VP8? Of coure not, this is laughable FUD.)

How is enforcing perfectly legal patents for perfectly legal standards observed the world over by innumerable busineses and industries in innumerable fields a "license to print money" and not a perfectly legitimate business and mode of standardizing video that has been accepted for more than 2 decades? This is the language of FUD.

Edited 2010-05-21 13:43 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: What a Joke
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 21st May 2010 13:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What a Joke"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

(I still dont see how using such language is not the language of FUD.


FUD generally consists of lies. Calling him a patent troll is not a lie. As such, it is not FUD. Green is generally green, so calling it red means it's not green.

Where is your evidence of "feeling the heat"?


The first serious competition to H264, a major MPEG-LA revenue source, has just arrived on the scene, with backing from a boatload of industry giants, and you're telling me the MPEG-LA is NOT feeling the heat? Use some common sense.

Your evidence that mpeg-la's entire purpose for being and source of revenue will evaporate?


Now you are just making stuff up - not unusual when you can't address the points actually being made. I never said anything like this.

Edited 2010-05-21 13:47 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: What a Joke
by tf123 on Fri 21st May 2010 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What a Joke"
tf123 Member since:
2010-01-28

what in Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt says Lies? The best FUD always has an element of truth.

YOU beleive that it is a serious competitor to H.264. I do not. I also am fully aware that H.264 will continue be used for a very,v ery long time in innumerable fields not related to the web whether or not VP8 takes a major hold on the internet.

How is saying "a heat that might set fire to his company's license to print money" not saying that mpegla's ability to go forward as a profitable concern may disappear?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: What a Joke
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 21st May 2010 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What a Joke"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

what in Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt says Lies? The best FUD always has an element of truth.


If it weren't lies, it wouldn't be FUD, now, would it? It'd just be the truth.

How is saying "a heat that might set fire to his company's license to print money" not saying that mpegla's ability to go forward as a profitable concern may disappear?


It isn't. Except you didn't use the auxiliary verb "may" in your previous comment. You used "will", thus implying certainty, even though I did not say such a thing.

Edited 2010-05-21 14:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: What a Joke
by voracity on Sat 22nd May 2010 04:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What a Joke"
voracity Member since:
2010-05-22

If it weren't lies, it wouldn't be FUD, now, would it? It'd just be the truth.


Actually, I hate to disagree, but no. For example:

"Robbers, murderers, rapists and child pornographers can all make modifications to the code when it's open source."

I've just done FUD while still telling the truth.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What a Joke
by Headrush on Fri 21st May 2010 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a Joke"
Headrush Member since:
2006-01-03

I was referencing the fact that every article seems to suggest everything the MPEG-LA says is all FUD.

Whether we like it or not or how stupid we might agree software patents are, the fact is the MPEG-LA does have a wide and varied patent pool. FACT.

Every article mentioning that come 2015 the MPEG-LA could do this or that, yet suggesting VP8 is perfectly safe is just doing the same thing. What stops the MPEG-LA from turning around and deciding to sue ABC for example for using VP8? Everyone assumes that Google would be sued but if using the previous arguments that for H.264 MPEG-LA could sue anyone in the change of use, then if there are violations in VP8, than the same thing can be said for it also.

Which re-enforces my point that as end users we are screwed until this is challenged in court and ultimately decided. The issue is the patent holder can wait for a time frame that fits their agenda. I doubt it exists but the USA patent office really needs a challenge period where new "products/ideas" can be submitted and there as to be some period of discovery that other holders have to decide if they think violations exist. They miss that they are out of look.

IMHO in the current situation we really don't know if we are any better off or not yet.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: What a Joke
by chris_l on Sat 22nd May 2010 19:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What a Joke"
chris_l Member since:
2010-02-14

I was referencing the fact that every article seems to suggest everything the MPEG-LA says is all FUD.

Whether we like it or not or how stupid we might agree software patents are, the fact is the MPEG-LA does have a wide and varied patent pool. FACT.

Every article mentioning that come 2015 the MPEG-LA could do this or that, yet suggesting VP8 is perfectly safe is just doing the same thing. What stops the MPEG-LA from turning around and deciding to sue ABC for example for using VP8? Everyone assumes that Google would be sued but if using the previous arguments that for H.264 MPEG-LA could sue anyone in the change of use, then if there are violations in VP8, than the same thing can be said for it also.

Which re-enforces my point that as end users we are screwed until this is challenged in court and ultimately decided. The issue is the patent holder can wait for a time frame that fits their agenda. I doubt it exists but the USA patent office really needs a challenge period where new "products/ideas" can be submitted and there as to be some period of discovery that other holders have to decide if they think violations exist. They miss that they are out of look.

IMHO in the current situation we really don't know if we are any better off or not yet.

I was referencing the fact that every article seems to suggest everything the MPEG-LA says is all FUD.

Whether we like it or not or how stupid we might agree software patents are, the fact is the MPEG-LA does have a wide and varied patent pool. FACT.



Every article mentioning that come 2015 the MPEG-LA could do this or that, yet suggesting VP8 is perfectly safe is just doing the same thing. What stops the MPEG-LA from turning around and deciding to sue ABC for example for using VP8? Everyone assumes that Google would be sued but if using the previous arguments that for H.264 MPEG-LA could sue anyone in the change of use, then if there are violations in VP8, than the same thing can be said for it also.

Which re-enforces my point that as end users we are screwed until this is challenged in court and ultimately decided. The issue is the patent holder can wait for a time frame that fits their agenda. I doubt it exists but the USA patent office really needs a challenge period where new "products/ideas" can be submitted and there as to be some period of discovery that other holders have to decide if they think violations exist. They miss that they are out of look.

IMHO in the current situation we really don't know if we are any better off or not yet.


And as others have pointed out, Google *BOUGHT* a company that was creating video codecs before MPEG-LA ever *EXISTED*

So the claim by MPEG-LA and their supporters like youself that MPEG-LA owns or has acess/rights to all forms of possible codecs is a bunch of bullshit.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What a Joke
by outpost_759 on Fri 21st May 2010 13:10 UTC in reply to "What a Joke"
outpost_759 Member since:
2010-04-23

While I expect it to happen I don't see how this matter ending up in a legal battle could be a good thing. Imagine if somehow - not likely, but heaven forbid - MPEG-LA and co. won a legal battle against the VP8 codec. Something like that could set an awful precedence that any or all free-and-open codecs to come will be found to violate MPEG-LA's patent pool. This is serious stuff; we're talking about having restrictions placed on our rights to create, send, receive and access (video) information on the Internet and/or via other mediums. How dare anyone restrict yours or my rights to freely do that!

What I can't understand is why there are seemingly no significant combined lawsuits (class action?) launched by (for example) big software, Internet-service and hardware companies against the governments that facilitate these 'crazy' software patent arrangements (no FUD, seriously search and you'll find evidence). I say this not just in the context of video codecs but for all elements of computing and information that are covered here at OSNews.

How dare anyone be allowed to propagate social inequity.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What a Joke
by Headrush on Fri 21st May 2010 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE: What a Joke"
Headrush Member since:
2006-01-03

I'm not suggesting I want the MPEG-LA to win, but what's to stop the MPEG-LA from threating lawsuits against companies using VP8 if they make the claim there are violations? So aren't we then in the exact same problem as with H.264?

Reply Score: 2

RE: What a Joke
by l3v1 on Fri 21st May 2010 13:46 UTC in reply to "What a Joke"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Yet here we are the VP8 backers just doing the same thing


This is so funny, it's beyond sanity limits ;) You really don't see a difference between gathering troll power with the goal of running down the enemy, and gathering troll power to protect against being run down by the enemy? If so, then hey, why does any of this even matter to you? Maybe this is not the final best solution for open video on the web, but at least we see someone trying to do something besides the Theora community. Trying to open up a video technology and building up a patent portfolio for keeping it open is the only option the software patent environment has left open. Claiming that this is the same thing as the opponents gathering patent pools to counteract this move is not sympathetic to say the least.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What a Joke
by tf123 on Fri 21st May 2010 14:31 UTC in reply to "RE: What a Joke"
tf123 Member since:
2010-01-28

"troll power"? is that like soul power? A troll is a troll is a troll. The enemy is what you think is the enemy, not everyone agrees with you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What a Joke
by Headrush on Fri 21st May 2010 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE: What a Joke"
Headrush Member since:
2006-01-03

"Yet here we are the VP8 backers just doing the same thing


This is so funny, it's beyond sanity limits ;) You really don't see a difference between gathering troll power with the goal of running down the enemy, and gathering troll power to protect against being run down by the enemy? If so, then hey, why does any of this even matter to you?
"
You're missing my point entirely. The FUD part is preaching that come 2015 the MPEG-LA could sue every user in the chain of use, yet turning around and saying VP8 is the answer. We hope so but we can't be sure.

There are claims that parts of VP8 infringe on patents held by MPEG-LA. Whether true or not I don't know but this still creates an environment of uncertainty and we still have the possiblitiy of legal action against VP8 users just like with H.264. So things are still unclear.

My comments had absolutely nothing to do with not seeing a difference and was neither for or against VP8. Some of the responses show that people get lost in the reteric and thinks its you're an Apple/H.264 fanboi or VP8 supporter and everything you say must be towards that.

IMHO if we are going to worry about what the MPEG-LA could do in 2015, we should be just as wise to find out what issues we could be in for if VP8 could be infringing on patents in MPEG-LA's pool. If there are the situation hasn't necessarily improved and "Google says its OK" isn't good enough for me. We see crazy things in those Texas courts.

Reply Score: 2

MPEG
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 21st May 2010 12:06 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

MPEG-LA... go suck a dick.

Reply Score: 1

MPEG-LA
by benb320 on Fri 21st May 2010 12:50 UTC
benb320
Member since:
2010-02-23

do all of the patients mpeg-la control, only apply in america?

Reply Score: 1

RE: MPEG-LA
by Lazarus on Fri 21st May 2010 14:24 UTC in reply to "MPEG-LA"
Lazarus Member since:
2005-08-10

Which ones? The hardware patents or the software patents?

Reply Score: 2

h.264 Acceleration
by Cody Evans on Fri 21st May 2010 13:37 UTC
Cody Evans
Member since:
2009-08-14

Has anyone noticed that nearly every company that makes hardware acceleration of h.264 is on the WebM project?

AMD, Nvidia, Broadcom, Marvell, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, ARM, Freescale Semiconductor, etc....

Reply Score: 2

RE: h.264 Acceleration
by l3v1 on Fri 21st May 2010 13:51 UTC in reply to "h.264 Acceleration"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Because they don't care about the codec, they care about supporting that codec so the users' experience will be good enough so they'll choose them again at their next purchase. And that's a good thing in my book. There are certain companies that feel that not supporting a technology will drive them forward, funny way to go, makes room for some wicked tombstone lines.

Reply Score: 2

RE: h.264 Acceleration
by tyrione on Fri 21st May 2010 21:29 UTC in reply to "h.264 Acceleration"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

Has anyone noticed that nearly every company that makes hardware acceleration of h.264 is on the WebM project?

AMD, Nvidia, Broadcom, Marvell, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, ARM, Freescale Semiconductor, etc....


Because they don't own any of the H.264 patents.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: h.264 Acceleration
by lemur2 on Sat 22nd May 2010 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE: h.264 Acceleration"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Has anyone noticed that nearly every company that makes hardware acceleration of h.264 is on the WebM project?

AMD, Nvidia, Broadcom, Marvell, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, ARM, Freescale Semiconductor, etc....


Because they don't own any of the H.264 patents.
"

And so WebM is a great opportunity for AMD, Nvidia, Broadcom, Marvell, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, ARM, Freescale Semiconductor, etc to offer a hardware accelerated video codec for which they do not have to pay out royalties in order to implement it in their hardware.

Reply Score: 4

Translation Please
by izomiac on Fri 21st May 2010 18:38 UTC
izomiac
Member since:
2006-07-26

"In view of the marketplace uncertainties regarding patent licensing needs for such technologies, there have been expressions of interest from the market urging us to facilitate formation of licenses that would address the market's need for a convenient one-stop marketplace alternative to negotiating separate licenses with individual patent holders in accessing essential patent rights for VP8 as well as other codecs, and we are looking into the prospects of doing so."

Thankfully, I'm not in a field where I regularly need to decode such abuses of the English language (albeit I do have to decode other abuses). What does that (single?!?!) sentence even mean? I'm reminded of the examples in Orwell's famous essay. Come to think of it, this might not be international politics, but it is politics none-the-less. It's sad to think that in 60 years we still have to read such drivel.

Edit: OK, someone needs to look into the OS News HTML filters, I'm not sure if this last sentence will be the least bit intelligible.

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm">Here</a&g... and adding it to the end of the post.

Edited 2010-05-21 18:40 UTC

Reply Score: 1

The Duck's TrueMotion
by pascuality on Fri 21st May 2010 18:43 UTC
pascuality
Member since:
2010-05-21

Just my two cents, something I think that's being glanced over is that On2 didn't just start with VP3. They started as The Duck corporation in the early 90's, and had their first software codec (TrueMotion 1.0) in 1993. In particular, Sega Saturn and Playstation games used these codecs long ago.

The important part is that this company that Google purchased has been in the game for a lot longer than VP3. This company even predates Sorenson. I'm sure that they have patents, or at least prior art on a number of things.

Now, If the war ever comes and Everyone vs. Everyone hits the patent courts, Chances are it'll turn out that Everyone infringes on Everyone in some manner. I say bring it on. I think this might actually be Google's thought too. It's time for everyone to stop flinging shit and let all these claims be resolved properly.

http://www.on2.com/index.php?492 (Inc. 1992)
http://www.sorenson.com/company/history.php (Inc. 1995)

Reply Score: 1

Junk Software Patents
by asupcb on Fri 21st May 2010 18:46 UTC
asupcb
Member since:
2005-11-10

Can we just get rid of software patents? I really don't understand what companies benefit from these sorts of patents. Surely these companies spend more on software patents than they get in return after you consider the millions in legal fees.

Reply Score: 2

WHY the patent pool is FUD
by ptmb on Fri 21st May 2010 23:19 UTC
ptmb
Member since:
2010-05-21

I agree when saying this claim from the MPEG LA is FUD. But why? Because of simple company tactics.

If they were going to truly assemble a patent pool (or though it would be possible), I think they wouldn't say anything to anyone until it was done or leaked. Why? Because, they, as a (set of) company(ies), want to maximize profit. So, making a patent pool and tell it to everybody ahead of time would cause people to stop using the codec, making any attempts to profit from it useless, and spending uselessly valuable resources and income from the companies involved.

If they don't have any way to profit from the codec, the best solution is to spread FUD, thus causing people to avoid the codec and resort to something they can profit from.

This is quite obvious, for example, in the way MPEG LA is reacting to questions about the change in the licensing in 2015/16, as they are avoiding to give exact answers so as not to scare away potential "costumers". And it is possible to assume it is correct based on FUD from, for example, MS, when they said (falsely) Linux had infringing patents, and when they said (falsely again) that Longhorn would support OpenGL as a layer or DirectX, thus making it unbearably slow. Both acts were attempts at moving people and companies from one software to the other (and it worked with OpenGL/DirectX).

These are my 2 cents.

Reply Score: 2

indiworks
Member since:
2010-05-03

"Yes, in view of the marketplace uncertainties regarding patent licensing needs for such technologies..."

= "In view of the FUD we spread..."

"...there have been expressions of interest from the market urging us to facilitate formation of licenses..."

= "...we've been repeatedly told that we are nothing but a patent troll Moloch (supported by Apple, MS and others)..."

"...that would address the market’s need for a convenient one-stop marketplace alternative to negotiating separate licenses with individual patent holders..."

= "...that is simply collecting protection money..."

"...in accessing essential patent rights for VP8 as well as other codecs, and we are looking into the prospects of doing so."

= "...since we actually believe we own the moving image per se."


Once more the translation:

"In view of the FUD we spread we've been repeatedly told that we are nothing but a patent troll Moloch (supported by Apple, MS and others) that is simply collecting protection money since we actually believe we own the moving image per se."

Reply Score: 1