Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th Jan 2011 20:31 UTC
Internet & Networking And the fallout from Google's decision to drop H.264 support from its Chrome web browser continues to fall. Opera's Haavard - speaking on his own behalf - slammed the article which appeared on Ars Technica earlier today, while Micrsoft's Tim Sneath likened Google's move to the president of the United States banning English in favour of Esperanto. Also within, a rant (there's no other word for it) about the disrespect displayed by H.264 proponents towards the very open source community that saved and invigorated the web.
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RE: Comment by adizzy
by FellowConspirator on Fri 14th Jan 2011 03:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by adizzy"
FellowConspirator
Member since:
2007-12-13

WebM as a format is specified by Google. It comprises various components, the video codec component being wholly owned, specified, and controlled by them. It incorporates the public domain Ogg Vorbis audio codec, Google's VP8 video codec (owned by them, but open-source and provided both royalty-free and without license cost), and the Matroska container format (a portion of which is licensed under the LGPL, and a portion under the BSD license).

While the individual parts of WebM might evolve, the reference format will always defined by Google (e.g., if Vorbis evolves, the Google fork will be the browser standard, not the one maintained by Xiph).

Per Google, they will not protect users/developers. Their license to use the codec is very clear and explicit; it states that they feel that they probably aren't infringing on any patents (at least with regard to decoding) and that they grant you an irrevocable license to all the patents that they own that are associated with it. Anything part of VP8 that isn't covered by their patents is your responsibility.

Note that "royalty-free" means that you don't pay to distribute/produce content in the format. License cost-free means you don't pay for implementations of the codecs. WebM aims to be royalty-free, h.264 is royalty free until 2014, then royalties kick in if you earn more than a certain amount ($100,000?) from h264 content distribution. There are h.264 license costs for producing implementations of the codec, but none for WebM. The one caveat being that VP8 may well actually have some patent encumbrances as it seems to apply a number of strategies common with h.264 - but none of that's really clear and won't be until a lawsuit provides clarification.

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