Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 13:07 UTC
Multimedia, AV A few days ago, Google and the MPEG-LA announced that they had come to an agreement under which Google received a license for techniques in VP8 that may infringe upon MPEG-LA patents (note the 'if any'). Only a few days later, we learn the real reason behind Google and the MPEG-LA striking a deal, thanks to The H Open, making it clear that the MPEG-LA has lost. Big time. Update: Chris Montgomery: "The wording suggests Google paid some money to grease this along, and the agreement wording is interesting [and instructive] but make no mistake: Google won. Full stop."
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Wrong link?
by Alfman on Sun 10th Mar 2013 14:45 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Your quote from h-online.com shows this link:

http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/rtcweb/current/msg06520.html

But this is in fact a discussion of video quality and efficiency: "Video codec quality evaluations (Re: Agenda time request for draft-dbenham-webrtcvideomti)"

The other links show what we already knew last time, so I'm a bit perplexed about this statement: "Only a few days later, we learn the real reason behind Google and the MPEG-LA striking a deal, thanks to The H Open, making it clear that the MPEG-LA has lost. Big time."

If the links are correct, can you elaborate on the logic for your conclusion? I don't understand how a discussion on codec quality fits into patent negotiation or how MPEG-LA's bluffed? Thanks for clarifying.

Edited 2013-03-10 14:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wrong link?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 14:48 UTC in reply to "Wrong link?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

...I don't understand. What do you mean?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wrong link?
by Alfman on Sun 10th Mar 2013 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Wrong link?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

To be honest, I'm a bit confused as to what the new evidence is that caused you to write this article and say that MPEG LA bluffed.

We didn't uncover the (edit: details of the) arrangement between google and the MPEG LA, so what did they bluff on? I'm confused.

Edited 2013-03-10 14:57 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Wrong link?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wrong link?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The MPEG-LA's bluff: VP8 is patent encumbered, so please use H.264 (which makes us money), or else we'll sue you.

The only problem: the MPEG-La doesn't have any patents. They've never disclosed any, and neither has anyone else. On2 has always maintained it designed around MPEG-LA's patents, and no one has ever been able to disprove this. In other words, the MPEG-LA bluffed.

Google could have happily continued without ever addressing the MPEG-LA's blustering (On2 had been doing that successfully for a decade anyway), but instead, they did the smart thing and made and agreement with MPEG-LA - and with that agreement, VP8 became a better option than H.264 (legally). VP8 is now free and unencumbered for more users (it covers EVERYONE, not just those with a license with the MPEG-LA) and in more usage scenarios (not just non-commercial, but also commercial) and in more situations (web, device, software, whatever) than H.264.

Many of use already regarded it that way, but with this agreement, companies who (rightfully!) feared legal repercussions from the MPEG-LA are safe. A huge stride forward for VP8.

The MPEG-LA gets money for every device, software, service, etc. that ships with H.264 built-in. They get nothing for every VP8 device, software, service, etc. - a significant regression. Had the MPEG-LA's threats had any substance, they would have never agreed to this.

So, bluff called, Google won - we all won.

Edited 2013-03-10 15:10 UTC

Reply Score: 17

RE[4]: Wrong link?
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wrong link?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Google licensing the MPEG LA's patents in no way imposed their licensing strategy for a related technology (H264), its no surprise then, that Google chose not to monetize VP8.

As long as Google is licensing, the MPEG LA doesn't really care. You pay an H264 license under limited circumstances as a content distributor for the convenience of having ubiquitous video distribution. H264 is in everything.

The MPEG LA monetizes the premise of ubiquity, not the value of the patents (and, presumably not every patent held by pool member applies to VP8), so it is an unfair comparison.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wrong link?
by JAlexoid on Mon 11th Mar 2013 02:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wrong link?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

You pay an H264 license under limited circumstances as a content distributor for the convenience of having ubiquitous video distribution. H264 is in everything.


You have it the other way around. The circumstances under which you don't pay are limited. The circumstances under which you have to pay are only limited by applicable patent laws.(But then, you could say that you have to pay for any patent under limited circumstances)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Wrong link?
by Nelson on Mon 11th Mar 2013 04:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wrong link?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Obviously I disagree with your assessment. I think it is clearly spelled out the instances where you are given a free and perpetual license, and even the extent to which you pay no royalties (up to 100k subscribers to a paying video stream, at that point you're both the content creator and the content distributor.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Wrong link?
by JAlexoid on Mon 11th Mar 2013 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wrong link?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

What about all other uses?
The fact that they are making an exception for a very narrow case should be clear enough.

The rule is you need a license unless you are under 100k views per year. Not you pay if your content view count is over 100k per year.

Legally the two statements are radically different.


It's like say in that this comment if protected by copyright, but I allow you to use it without express permission when quoting me.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Wrong link?
by Alfman on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wrong link?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Thom Holwerda,

"The only problem: the MPEG-La doesn't have any patents. They've never disclosed any, and neither has anyone else. On2 has always maintained it designed around MPEG-LA's patents, and no one has ever been able to disprove this. In other words, the MPEG-LA bluffed."

I hate to resort to pedantry here, but lack of proof for one side doesn't prove the other. How do you know they bluffed? Me of all people would be happy about it if it were true, but I don't want to start telling people it's true without something substantial to back it up.


"The MPEG-LA gets money for every device, software, service, etc. that ships with H.264 built-in. They get nothing for every VP8 device, software, service, etc. - a significant regression. Had the MPEG-LA's threats had any substance, they would have never agreed to this."

I don't suppose we'll ever find out what the terms were between google and MPEG-LA. It would shed a lot of light on the matter if we knew whether or not there was a lump sum payment.



"So, bluff called, Google won - we all won."

Regardless of what happened behind the curtains, this seems like a very good outcome.

Edited 2013-03-10 15:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wrong link?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wrong link?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I hate to resort to pedantry here, but lack of proof for one side doesn't prove the other. How do you know they bluffed? Me of all people would be happy about it if it were true, but I don't want to start telling people it's true without something substantial to back it up.


True, but if I accuse you of murder for 13 years straight, only to retract said accusations for what is a very, very small sum, wouldn't it seem like my accusations were sketchy, at best?

And yes, it is a small sum as I explained (instead of per device/service/software etc. and only for non-commercial use, this agreement covers EVERY possible use FOR FREE for users).

I don't suppose we'll ever find out what the terms were between google and MPEG-LA. It would shed a lot of light on the matter if we knew whether or not there was a lump sum payment.


Maybe Google's next quarterly results shed some light on this.

Reply Score: 7

RE[6]: Wrong link?
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wrong link?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

So did Google take a license of patents that the MPEG LA never disclosed? I don't think so.

On2 likely never opened negotiations with the MPEG LA to the point where such information was disclosed under NDA.

There are very tricky laws on the books regarding patents and public disclosure, which is why most things regarding IP is heavily secretive.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Wrong link?
by JAlexoid on Mon 11th Mar 2013 02:53 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wrong link?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

There are very tricky laws on the books regarding patents and public disclosure, which is why most things regarding IP is heavily secretive.


There is nothing tricky about patent laws and public disclosure. You submit a patent application, that is public disclosure. PERIOD.
Contracts between two or more private parties have no requirement for public disclosure.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Wrong link?
by Alfman on Mon 11th Mar 2013 00:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wrong link?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Yes well of course everything about patent trolls is "sketchy".

I'd still say it is statistically likely that On2 infringed on at least a few patents given how it is another DCT compression algorithm like mpeg has always been. But the technology was developed long enough ago that there have to be a lot that are expiring soon.

If you ask me, this is as plausible as assuming they were bluffing. Maybe the clock is running out on the relevant patents and they figured a google deal was the best way to monetize patents which would expire in a few years.

I would not assert that you are wrong, but until we get a hold of more facts, we are all just speculating what may or may not have been the case.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wrong link?
by jackeebleu on Wed 13th Mar 2013 01:43 UTC in reply to "Wrong link?"
jackeebleu Member since:
2006-01-26

Long Story Short. Thom is LOUD, WRONG, and MISINFORMED AGAIN! If they why are they cutting a check? Fuck the size of it relative to profits, Google got called on their shit and proved as liars and frauds again. But Thom wants Google perks and access like "The Verge", so he'll suck at the teat and pray to the Brin and the Page as long and visibly as he can.

Reply Score: 1

Why?
by bowkota on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:05 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

Why are we even talking about VP8 vs H.264? H.265 is coming out this year and it's well a hell of a lot better
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/147000-h-265-standard-finalized-...

These articles about VP8 on OSnews have a similar motif to the ones on WebOS, Windows 8, the Surface and we all know how those ended up. Dare I include Google Glass in the list (since we don't(?) know the outcome yet)?

Edited 2013-03-10 15:05 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:08 UTC in reply to "Why?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So is VP9, buddy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VP9

Reply Score: 8

v RE[2]: Why?
by bowkota on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
RE[3]: Why?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You link to Florian Mueller, who is paid by Microsoft and Oracle, who has been consistently proven wrong on just about everything he says.

You'll have to do better than that.

Reply Score: 10

v RE[4]: Why?
by bowkota on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why?"
RE[5]: Why?
by TechGeek on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why?"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

How about the whole damn argument about Google's use of Java. It really doesn't matter what they copied or what they did or what Oracle thinks. When Sun owned Java they gave Google the green light to do whatever they wanted. They had permission and it was publicly given. Oracle is now trying to claim that Google stole something that they were given. Thats not even getting into the fact that Sun open sourced Java and OpenJDK contains all the same API's that Oracle says Google stole. How do you steal from something that's free?

Reply Score: 7

RE[6]: Why?
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

This isn't the argument at all used by the Judge in his ruling (which is currently under appeal by Oracle).

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Why?
by TechGeek on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Why?"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

This isn't the argument at all used by the Judge in his ruling (which is currently under appeal by Oracle).


No, I suspect that Google went with the what we did wasn't infringement strategy first. My reasoning would have Google admit it infringed but that it was allowed. But the Sun CEO is on record in the first trial stating that Google was allowed to do what they did.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[6]: Why?
by bowkota on Sun 10th Mar 2013 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why?"
RE[7]: Why?
by JAlexoid on Mon 11th Mar 2013 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Why?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

They knew perfectly well that they were stealing, they even admitted it in their emails.



Seriously? What did they steal? Code from Apache Harmony?
Your lack of knowledge does not give you permission to make outrageous statements.

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: Why?
by JAlexoid on Mon 11th Mar 2013 03:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

He's wrong on some occasions and right on others.
You link to Groklaw which is just as wrong (nope sorry they're worse), consistently leaning towards one direction, Google (they're the equivalent of Dan Lyons but their specialty is patents).

Regardless, I dare you to refute any of his points.


Since he's trolling an lying as of recent here you go:
#1 Acer-Allyun - an issue of a private contract that Acer and Google signed. Talking like it's an issue of openness is dishonest. Acer can leave OHA and not be bound by that contract. They , however, want to have access to Google's resources..

** Concerning precluding innovation **

#2 "copying Apple's user interface" - is a dishonest statement in context. UI was copied and transmorphed into a distinctly different UI. See any type of art, where the general styles are copied and result in more, not less, innovation.

#3 "copying many thousands of lines from the Java source code" - A blatant lie. Copyright infringement is not copying. These are two different things. Google copied Harmony, not Java. He knows it and still continues to lie.

#4 "by building a key feature of Google Maps on technology that actually belongs to Microsoft" - Obviously Google knew that in the first place and all others should be called out on the same... Oh wait, that is the best pro patent troll statement he ever made.

#5 "Google makes other companies' creations (even if it still develops a lot of code around it) available "for free" to end users" - So does FOSS is many people's opinions. And that "develops a lot of code around it" already nullifies his statement.

#6 "who will invest in the next wave of innovation? (Other than Google with its advertising-centric business model.)" - Yes. You have to enforce all IP and keep it private to make innovation work... Oh wait! The patent system was created to battle exactly this. Google invests in other companies. Google enables other companies. Google isn't Apple, that would prefer most innovations to be under their umbrella. His knowledge about his personally hated company is very low and he doesn't bother becoming enlightened on what Google does or did not(in this case) do.

#7 "There would be nothing wrong with forcing Oracle to compete with free if it didn't have to compete with what is in an important way a copy of its own creation" - Java is not the core of Android. It's the programming language(Also used in BB, by the way). Sun/Oracle had nothing to present when iPhone arrived. Even Microsoft moved fast to counter and failed. So how do they compete with free? Offer something that is remotely competitive. In 6 years there is nothing they produced. Not even an improvement to J2ME.

#8 "Google's reckless behavior completely disincentivizes investment in innovation" - Microsoft and Oracle acquire a lot of companies and then offer those services for free. Just like Google does. He says that Google's operation is reckless while the same steps taken by a whole lot of companies is somehow an incentive for innovation. (Blind hatred or $$$ results in hypocrisy)

#9 "Again, Google's approach would be in the public interest if (i) it worked and (ii) Google opened up only its own creations." (a) it works, for a fact, see the huge collection of technologies that Google opened; (b) They have opened up a lot of their own creations. Again, he doe not have a single clue how much Google knowingly contributes back into the open.

#10 "really cared about being so 'open', they'd open up a nontrivial part of their business that hasn't already been commoditized, like their searching or advertising algorithms" Let's get to reductio ad absurdum just to miss the point.

#11 "Those are people who see the benefits of seemingly getting something "for free" today without thinking about sustainability." And in his own view he thinks that Google's contribution to technology is unsustainable and destructive. Remind me who are the largest users of MapReduce(which Google championed, not created)? Yahoo! Also, his example of the Google Maps issue is the best example where a patent that almost nobody read is not contributing to innovation.

Reply Score: 9

v Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:20 UTC
RE: Comment by Nelson
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

While the MPEG LA might have gotten their share, things remain more dubious for VP8 because there are likely legitimate stake owners with patents that are not part of the deal with the MPEG LA and are not obligated to any FRAND terms.


Sigh.

You do realise that the same applies to H.264, right? A patent holder who didn't pledge his patent to MPEG-LA could just as much target H.264 as it could target VP8. This point has been raised a million times over the years, and H.264 and MPEG-LA supporters never address it.

Edited 2013-03-10 15:30 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Great, allow me to address it then: It doesn't matter.

What does matter is VP8 proponents claiming that VP8 is magically safer. No one is claiming that H264 is completely absolved from any and all patent risk, precisely because such a claim is absurd.

This has never been about saying that H264 is safer, but that VP8 is not safer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by bowkota on Sun 10th Mar 2013 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

Great, allow me to address it then: It doesn't matter.

What does matter is VP8 proponents claiming that VP8 is magically safer. No one is claiming that H264 is completely absolved from any and all patent risk, precisely because such a claim is absurd.

This has never been about saying that H264 is safer, but that VP8 is not safer.


Here's a list of the H.264 licencors, just look at how long that list is and the names on it. http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/Licensors.aspx

On the other hand, you have Google, the biggest advertiser on the planet (their major(only?) source of profit) with VP8.

What a dilemma.

Edited 2013-03-10 16:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29
RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 16:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Thats a list of supporters, not patent holders. You may as well have listed WebM's Facebook friends.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thats a list of supporters, not patent holders. You may as well have listed WebM's Facebook friends.


It's a list of companies that support WebM/VP8, and therefore, will not sue anyone for using it. Call it what you will, but the effective outcome is the same.

That list contains virtually all chip makers (except Intel), but even Intel supports VP8 because it's building Android smartphones. The cold and harsh truth is that VP8 has tremendous industry support - support most technologies can only dream of.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


It's a list of companies that support WebM/VP8, and therefore, will not sue anyone for using it. Call it what you will, but the effective outcome is the same.


That's a herculean leap.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by lemur2 on Mon 11th Mar 2013 03:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Thats a list of supporters, not patent holders. You may as well have listed WebM's Facebook friends.


WebM Community Cross-License

http://www.webm-ccl.org/

http://www.webm-ccl.org/faq/

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 11th Mar 2013 04:35 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

A much better list, thank you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by TechGeek on Mon 11th Mar 2013 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

"Great, allow me to address it then: It doesn't matter.

What does matter is VP8 proponents claiming that VP8 is magically safer. No one is claiming that H264 is completely absolved from any and all patent risk, precisely because such a claim is absurd.

This has never been about saying that H264 is safer, but that VP8 is not safer.


Here's a list of the H.264 licencors, just look at how long that list is and the names on it. http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/Licensors.aspx

On the other hand, you have Google, the biggest advertiser on the planet (their major(only?) source of profit) with VP8.

What a dilemma.
"

Know who ISNT on that list? Motorola. Their h.264 patents are NOT part of the MPEG-LA and may be exactly why this deal was made in favor of Google.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Alfman on Mon 11th Mar 2013 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

TechGeek,

"Know who ISNT on that list? Motorola. Their h.264 patents are NOT part of the MPEG-LA and may be exactly why this deal was made in favor of Google."

That's very insightful!

Technically though it might be difficult to bribe the MPEG-LA organization directly, since they do not build anything that could infringe Motorola (now google) patents themselves. Do you think google would have blackmailed the MPEG-LA by threating to sue it's members?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by some1 on Mon 11th Mar 2013 00:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Motorola is currently sueing Microsoft for an infringement of their H.264 patent. Not that it's going all too well, and I doubt this was the reason for this agreement.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 11th Mar 2013 04:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Motorola was smacking Microsoft with standard essential patents, part of Google's antitrust deal was that they would stop this unprecedented abuse of SEPs.

As a result, Motorola's cases are collapsing against Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Vanders on Sun 10th Mar 2013 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

What does matter is VP8 proponents claiming that VP8 is magically safer.


No one is claiming that and no one has ever claimed that,

No one is claiming that H264 is completely absolved from any and all patent risk, precisely because such a claim is absurd. This has never been about saying that H264 is safer, but that VP8 is not safer.


Except that's wrong.

Until last week people were quick to claim that VP8 was "unsafe" (hell, even Apple made this claim). There were plenty of people asking why Google wouldn't indemnify VP8 users yet completely ignoring the fact that MPEG-LA didn't indemnify H.264 licensor's.

The double standard was hilarious at the time, now it's just pathetic.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 11th Mar 2013 04:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


No one is claiming that and no one has ever claimed that,


Yes. The general talking point was that WebM had all the relevant patents already, so it wasn't a legal minefield.

Quite obviously that isn't true.


Except that's wrong.

Until last week people were quick to claim that VP8 was "unsafe" (hell, even Apple made this claim). There were plenty of people asking why Google wouldn't indemnify VP8 users yet completely ignoring the fact that MPEG-LA didn't indemnify H.264 licensor's.


The idemnification was only brought up because Google claimed they owned all relevant patents. Critics argued that if they did, they'd have no problem indemnifying their partners and sub licensees.


The double standard was hilarious at the time, now it's just pathetic.


H264 was developed using a standard setting process, which yielded a lot of disclosure about relevant patents, and in turn H264 is covered in SEPs.

In addition to this, the MPEG LA is a patent pool which facilitates the relatively inexpensive licensing of a bunch of patents related to H264.

VP8 has neither of these, so the situation is much more dire. A person willing to license all of the potential VP8 patents will need to sink a lot of money if a number of people start coming forward (as Nokia has).

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Vanders on Mon 11th Mar 2013 11:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

H264 was developed using a standard setting process, which yielded a lot of disclosure about relevant patents, and in turn H264 is covered in SEPs.

In addition to this, the MPEG LA is a patent pool which facilitates the relatively inexpensive licensing of a bunch of patents related to H264.

VP8 has neither of these, so the situation is much more dire. A person willing to license all of the potential VP8 patents will need to sink a lot of money if a number of people start coming forward (as Nokia has).


What a complete load of absolute rubbish. The situation for submarine patents is identical for both VP8 and H.264.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 11th Mar 2013 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Obviously there's an impasse. I do think its progress I can at least get some people to agree that the patent fears against VP8 are real. Even if they kicked and screamed the entire way.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by Vanders on Tue 12th Mar 2013 10:44 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Obviously there's an impasse. I do think its progress I can at least get some people to agree that the patent fears against VP8 are real. Even if they kicked and screamed the entire way.


I have no problem with you doing that, but at least be honest and get them to agree that the situation applies equally to H264.

The way you're trying to tell things it's as if H264 is whiter than white and VP8 is lurking in the shadows murdering children and stealing everyone else's IP. You're so unbalanced on the subject it's verging on trolling.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by segedunum on Wed 13th Mar 2013 13:03 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Obviously there's an impasse. I do think its progress I can at least get some people to agree that the patent fears against VP8 are real.

They might have been real some time ago - and all that was based on hearsay that no one within the MPEG-LA would back up. Those fears are utterly discredited now, a fact you don't seem to be getting for reasons that escape me.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Mon 11th Mar 2013 03:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

It is worth putting into context "End-users" here, end users cannot be targeted by the MPEG LA for patent litigation unless they are part of the distribution chain of the unlicensed publication -- in other words, if you're just hitting play on a video on the web, the extent of your liability is limited by United States patent law.

Nope. End users can be targeted with patent infringement lawsuits. Anyone benefiting from the invention is liable. The law only has patent exhaustion, that is if you have a licensed decoder you are free from liability(and even that has limitations). If you do not have a licensed decoder, you are as liable as anyone in the distribution chain.

The patent owner can sue everyone, but usually sues the most valuable target.

If end users were free from patent lawsuits, then patents on manufacturing processes would be useless.(As the end-user of the patented manufacturing process is the manufacturer)

Reply Score: 2

fosspatents vs groklaw
by TechGeek on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:38 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Thats is a hell of a thing saying groklaw is worse that fosspatents. Mueller has admitted to working for Oracle and Microsoft, which makes everything he says suspect. PJ on the other hand has been taken to court and shown that she is completely independent. Thats not to say that she is anymore right than Mueller. But at least groklaw offers the public a service of providing court documents free and in plain text. Fosspatents has no use outside of Mueller's diatribe.

Reply Score: 14

I am confused
by Windows Sucks on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:42 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

Google said that there were no patent issues with VP8 and now they are taking a license??

On top of that license they are still stuck with companies like Nokia suing over VP8 (Which is most likely why they are rushing to tie up loose ends)

It's still a mess and saying that MPEG-LA "Lost" is not saying anything if companies like HTC are still being hammered in court over VP8.

Reply Score: 3

overall picture
by TechGeek on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:44 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

In all fairness to the detractors here, VP8 could still have patents against out there somewhere. But then again so could h.264. However, for the present moment. VP8 is now positioned as royalty free from all known patent holders, and being considered to be the next web standard. Thats more than h.264 has. If you go to the other article, there is a post at the end of the comments detailing all the places VP8 is in use. Its being used in a lot more places than you would probably think.

Reply Score: 6

Nokia vs HTC and the patent war
by TechGeek on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:57 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I found one article on Google referring to VP8 in the Nokia vs HTC lawsuit. Some guy wrote it on his blog. None of the press releases mention VP8 in the lawsuits. And Nokia isn't just suing HTC, they basically are suing everyone at this point. Of course, lawsuits are about all they have left so.

As for the patent issue over VP8. Remember when the MPEG-LA came forward and announced that they were going after Google and VP8, but needed patents to do so? No one signed up. If you had a patent on VP8 and wanted to get paid and someone else was willing to foot the bill, don't you think they would have signed up? I don't think there are any patents against VP8, or at least not ones that are strong enough to take to war.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nokia vs HTC and the patent war
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 16:10 UTC in reply to "Nokia vs HTC and the patent war"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

12 patent holders came forward to join the MPEG LA patent pool. It never materialized, because as a result of Google's licensing of the patents in question, it was unnecessary from the MPEG LA's perspective.

And Florian routinely sits in on court proceedings, so it isn't out of the ordinary for him to break news on such matters. I'm not entirely sure if you're suggesting he's making it up or not.

Reply Score: 3

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

12 patent holders came forward to join the MPEG LA patent pool. It never materialized, because as a result of Google's licensing of the patents in question, it was unnecessary from the MPEG LA's perspective.


Some companies (nowhere near the entirety of H.264 licensors) said ‘we may have patents that read on this standard’, little happened for over a year, MPEG-LA then put out a press release that they are abolishing setting up a VP8 pool.
And you take it as a certainty that Google must have paid to have that not happen?

I’m unsure you fathom the size of this news, MPEG-LA have resigned themselves and said their reach does not cover WebM. That’s it, FUD over, move on.

Reply Score: 4

some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

12 patent holders came forward to join the MPEG LA patent pool. It never materialized, because as a result of Google's licensing of the patents in question, it was unnecessary from the MPEG LA's perspective.

Do you seriously believe that? If MPEG LA had any ground to stand on, they'd be running the pool themselves, deciding the licensing terms and rates (they'd never allow free sublicensing) and getting their fee. Just like they do for VC1, Microsoft's codec that Microsoft originally wanted to be royalty free.

What likely happened here is, Google approached those 11 patent holders and agreed on licensing deals with them. This left MPEG LA without anyone in their pool. Google then offered MPEG LA to sign an agreement, allowing MPEG LA to save face and maybe get some fee, in return for discontinuing the pool.

Reply Score: 5

Google may have won, but we all lost.
by kristoph on Sun 10th Mar 2013 17:52 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

Whatever it is that Google 'won' the point is that in this deal they re-affirmed. patent law, the existence of MPEG-LA and basically the ridiculous notion that to make a video codec you need to pay people off.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sun 10th Mar 2013 18:07 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Does Theora violate some broad patent?
Almost certainly.

Would said patent possibly be voided if it were brought up in court and scrutinised? Possibly.

So it’s not just a case of the MPEG-LA saying that Theora violates their patents, they know they must also beat a games of chess ahead of time with an opponent whose moves predates their own.


Kroc - 1st May 2010
http://www.osnews.com/thread?421906

I believed then the MPEG-LA were blustering, and that since the VP codecs pre-dated H.264, they had not much to stand on but noise.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 18:12 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I think Nokia likely has a strong stick to beat VP8 with, given their investment in the area. Even more dangerous, they participated in no SDO, so all of their patents are non-standard-essential.

VP8 was a air dropped specification, it wasn't developed in the open, and as such, an argument can be made that it is exposed to significant patent risk (compared to H264) because the amount of known IP holders is up in the air, and there are little to no SEPs covering its implementation.

It is at best less economically viable, and at worst more dangerous to use VP8 because of what I mentioned above, and a lack of a patent pool.

If a significant amount of IP holders come out of the wood works, good luck licensing them individually vs a patent pool.

Edit: Not that I particularly buy the less safe argument, I'm just providing it for discussions sake. I think that both H264 and VP8 have patent uncertainty. Case in point being Microsoft and Motorola duking it out over patents related to H264.

Edited 2013-03-10 18:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Vanders on Sun 10th Mar 2013 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Everything you said applies to VP8 being developed outside of the H.264 process standard. Why is Nokia in a strong position and On2/Google not?

Reply Score: 4

v A basic question
by Tony Swash on Mon 11th Mar 2013 11:16 UTC
RE: A basic question
by Alfman on Mon 11th Mar 2013 12:52 UTC in reply to "A basic question"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

"My question is this. In the real world what is VP8 used for? By that I mean who is using VP8 to deliver video, how widespread is VP8 use?"

I don't know the answer, but you already asked the exact same question here, and lemur2 already gave you a good starting point which you seem to have completely ignored in re-asking your question.

http://www.osnews.com/thread?554708


"A supplementary question: are there are sources of video that are only being delivered via VP8 which are not accompanied by delivery using other codecs?"


You of all people should know that Apple's banned users from installing WebM on their portable devices. This means publishers who want to reach apple mobile users would have to serve H264 as well. Although merely irritating from a publishing standpoint, the real shame is from a licensing standpoint because publishers still have to license H264 due to apple's codec restrictions.

If enough publishers were to leave iOS users out in the cold, maybe apple would have enough sympathy for their own users to allow them to install WebM. Now that MPEG-LA and google have settled patent claims, it would be truly a disservice for apple's users to disallow web streaming using the royalty free codec.

Edited 2013-03-11 13:01 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: A basic question
by Tony Swash on Mon 11th Mar 2013 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE: A basic question"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22


I don't know the answer, but you already asked the exact same question here, and lemur2 already gave you a good starting point which you seem to have completely ignored in re-asking your question.



My bad. I checked that thread a couple of times but haven't since the response was posted, sorry.

Thanks your own response to my question by the way.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: A basic question
by Tony Swash on Mon 11th Mar 2013 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE: A basic question"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Now that MPEG-LA and google have settled patent claims, it would be truly a disservice for apple's users to disallow web streaming using the royalty free codec.



Why and how? Again I am not looking to argue about the rights and wrongs of this issue but I am interested in the practical consequences for end users and I can't really see what sort of content iOS users, say, are not getting access to by not utilising VP8. Isn't all content effectively available to iOS users via non-VP8 codecs? If tomorrow Apple allowed VP8 on iOS what new content would open up for it's customers?

I really am not arguing the pros and cons here, if the licensing deal means VP8 is now unproblematic patent wise then I can't see what Apple has to gain by keepin git off iOS and would expect them to allow it, although in today's environment of vigorous IP litigation I would imagine the Apple management would probably want so pretty clear legal advice that VP8 did not open them up to legal action.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A basic question
by Alfman on Mon 11th Mar 2013 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A basic question"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Tony Swash,

"Why and how? Again I am not looking to argue about the rights and wrongs of this issue but I am interested in the practical consequences for end users and I can't really see what sort of content iOS users, say, are not getting access to by not utilising VP8..."

Isn't this a rewording of your original question? I'm sorry but I still don't know of a list. And because I use VLC as my video software, I can play just about all media without even taking notice of what codec it uses. It just works.


I see a lot of products designed to help iOS users transcode videos for their ipads, so it would seem there are at least some iOS users who are not content that their ipads don't allow them to play webm content.

http://www.anymp4.com/video-converter/how-to-convert-webm-video-to-...

http://www.webmediaconverter.com/convert-webm-to-ipad.html

http://www.techisky.com/how-to/convert-webm-to-iphone-ipad-ipod.htm...

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: A basic question
by Valhalla on Mon 11th Mar 2013 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A basic question"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

If tomorrow Apple allowed VP8 on iOS what new content would open up for it's customers?

As of now, nothing. If webm becomes the standard (and thus mandatory) video codec for HTML5 then you would likely need it for alot of online content, of course since Apple supports HTML5 it would have to support webm in this case.

Also if/when Google stops supporting h.264 on Youtube in favour of webm (they say they are still going through with it, though personally I think it very much depends on webm becoming the official HTML5 video codec) you will need VP8/VP9 to watch the content. It won't make a practical difference for iOS though as you already need the Google Youtube app unless I'm mistaken.

And of course if w3c accepts (as expected) WebRTC as a standard for browser video chat/voice calls then Apple will likely enable that in Safari on OSX atleast.

Reply Score: 5

RE: A basic question
by Deviate_X on Mon 11th Mar 2013 14:21 UTC in reply to "A basic question"
Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

This is a genuine question, I am not trying to score any points, I just don't follow this stuff as closely as some other seem to.

My question is this. In the real world what is VP8 used for? By that I mean who is using VP8 to deliver video, how widespread is VP8 use?

A supplementary question: are there are sources of video that are only being delivered via VP8 which are not accompanied by delivery using other codecs?

Hope those questions made sense. This issue obviously is quite heated and I am trying to work out the scale of this issue in real world situations.



I think the no.1 use of VP8 is to create arguments in threads about open vs. closed.

What about reality??

Is WebM a better quality, smaller size, eat less battery?

What does it mean when the end user can't encode to WebM with Adobe, Microsoft or Apple.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A basic question
by TechGeek on Mon 11th Mar 2013 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE: A basic question"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14


What does it mean when the end user can't encode to WebM with Adobe, Microsoft or Apple.



Well for one, Adobe, Microsoft, and Apple are all creators of H.264.

Reply Score: 4

RE: A basic question
by BallmerKnowsBest on Mon 11th Mar 2013 19:51 UTC in reply to "A basic question"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Hope those questions made sense. This issue obviously is quite heated and I am trying to work out the scale of this issue in real world situations.


Yes, they make perfect sense... at least, if we interpret your "questions" as thinly-veiled variations of your standard "Why Apple is so great" sales pitch. Both questions are obvious examples of bragging-by-implication, E.g "how widespread is VP8 use" is a painfully-obvious attempt to brag that H.264 use is more widespread (and in typical fanboy fashion, you're bragging about a detail that has no actual relevance).

Or, for those who have some actual post-secondary education: Tony is using an older-than-dirt debate tactic known as "the Socratic Method" - where you ask questions that are deliberately phrased to lead people to a specific conclusion. It's occasionally used to good effect, but most often it's just used as a weaselly method of disguising statements as questions (though it's not like I expect any better from anyone who would coin a phrase like "Apple-phobe").

Problem is, it doesn't really work when it's so clearly telegraphed.

Reply Score: 3

Can Google sue...
by Kivada on Mon 11th Mar 2013 15:14 UTC
Kivada
Member since:
2010-07-07

The MPEG-LA for slander and lost market potential over their bullshit?

Normally I hate that kind of suit as it's what the RIAA/MPAA companies use, but in this case it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

Reply Score: 1

Thom you are wrong.
by lucas_maximus on Tue 12th Mar 2013 16:29 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/07/google-admits-its-vp8webm...

While Google was previously able to offer WebM as a "licensing free" alternative to H.264, its new licensing agreement means that WebM and its future versions can only offer a cheaper alternative if Google chooses to subsidize the technology. Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, network operators and chip producers will continue to pay the relatively low "Fair, Reasonable and NonDiscriminatory" fees collected by patent owners behind the MPEG H.264/265 pool in order to keep the pace of video technology moving.


Sorry WebM loses out on performance and nobody is building any chips to accelerate it.

Not much of a win.

Reply Score: 3

v RE: Thom you are wrong.
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 12th Mar 2013 17:48 UTC in reply to "Thom you are wrong."
RE[2]: Thom you are wrong.
by lucas_maximus on Tue 12th Mar 2013 18:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Thom you are wrong."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

That article is 100% nonsense. Don't sink to new lows linking to it. In fact, I suspect even you yourself feel a little dirty for linking to Daniel Eril Didupdidup.


Ad-hominem attacks already?

Anyway you are just as much of a troll as he maybe.

I'll take the opinion of the founder of Xiph over that of Daniel Eril Didupdidup, the most insane Apple troll in human history.


It pretty much irrelevant whether he is a troll or not. h264 is here to stay.

Several other news sources say this including ars which you frequently link.

Google haven't won anything. Two companies made a deal that is it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Thom you are wrong.
by Valhalla on Tue 12th Mar 2013 23:05 UTC in reply to "Thom you are wrong."
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24


Sorry WebM loses out on performance and nobody is building any chips to accelerate it.

Amongst the manufacturers who are implementing webm hardware acceleration we find: AMD, ARM, Broadcomm, NVidia, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, with Intel looking to adopt it for their 'tv chips'. You call this 'nobody'???


It pretty much irrelevant whether he is a troll or not. h264 is here to stay.

Of course it is, same goes for webm. It's not one or the other, same will be true for h.265/VP9.

However, the huge advantage with webm is that it can be the HTML5 video codec standard, something h.264 or h.265 could never be as in order to be a HTML5 standard (and thus mandatory to implement for compliance) it has to be royalty free.

With vp8 we have a codec which is close to h.264 in quality, is free to use and implement everywhere (including hardware, which is why the aforementioned hardware support will most likely keep increasing at a rapid pace).

Not only that, it is also developed with alot of effort placed into low-latency real time performance which makes it extremely suitable for RTC (real time communication) on the web as proven by the WebRTC project used by Chrome, Mozilla and Opera. One which seems likely to be made the web RTC standard by w3c.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Thom you are wrong.
by lemur2 on Wed 13th Mar 2013 06:30 UTC in reply to "Thom you are wrong."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Sorry WebM loses out on performance and nobody is building any chips to accelerate it.


Sorry, but that is just a straight-out lie.

http://wiki.webmproject.org/hardware/arm-socs

In the "Common ARM SoC VP8 support table" on this page, there are more SoCs listed which support VP8 than those which do not. Most of those SoCs listed which do not support VP8 are the older versions. Of the 18 listed companies there are only three SoC makers (Apple, Qualcomm and Sony) which have no SoCs at all which support VP8.

Furthermore, VP8 is easier to decode than H.264, so it has less of a requirement for hardware decode support. VP8 is, however, a lot more computationally expensive to encode than h.264, Despite the expensive encoding fact, since mobiles and hand-helds are rarely used to encode video, VP8 does not lose out on performance to h.264. That meme is just a myth.

Edited 2013-03-13 06:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thom you are wrong.
by zima on Sun 17th Mar 2013 23:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Thom you are wrong."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

since mobiles and hand-helds are rarely used to encode video

"Mobiles and hand-helds" are routinely used to encode video, that's what happens when you record it. Funny how you overlook something so obvious, apparently to convince yourself that webm is in better situation than it really is...

And Qualcomm is the guerilla in the room, what they do has wide repercussions.

Reply Score: 2

I hope this will boost VP9
by wanker90210 on Wed 13th Mar 2013 21:58 UTC
wanker90210
Member since:
2007-10-26

Let's face it, VP8 was too little too late, worse than baseline H264. I hope this announcement will mean that <video> will rally up around VP9, and that this adoption will be fast.

Reply Score: 1