Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Mar 2013 20:47 UTC
Legal "Google and MPEG LA announced today that they have entered into agreements granting Google a license to techniques that may be essential to VP8 and earlier-generation VPx video compression technologies under patents owned by 11 patent holders. The agreements also grant Google the right to sublicense those techniques to any user of VP8, whether the VP8 implementation is by Google or another entity. It further provides for sublicensing those VP8 techniques in one next-generation VPx video codec. As a result of the agreements, MPEG LA will discontinue its effort to form a VP8 patent pool." The word that stood out to me: the auxiliary verb 'may', which has a rather low epistemic modality. To me, this indicates that this is not so much a clear-cut case of VP8 infringing upon patents, but more a precautionary move on Google's part.
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RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Valhalla on Thu 7th Mar 2013 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
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I would say that's pretty damn concrete, more concrete than a legal action.

No it's not. It could easily mean that they just don't want any drawn out patent disputes in court to throw a wrench into vp8 being used as a web video standard.

Also, the fact that MPEGLA did reach an agreement with a competing format belies that, in fact, that format is not remotely superior and in no way poses a threat.

You can be certain that just as MPEGLA contains broad patents which can apply to methods used in VP8, the same goes for the many patents On2/Motorola has in regards to methods used by MPEGLA patent holders.

As for vp8, no, it's not superior to h264, atleast not in quality per bit. However it's not far off (there's been alot of improvements in VP8 these past years) and vp8 is primarily aimed at web video, and from what I've read it's very impressive in terms of 'real-time' video.

Obviously this is why Google bought On2 to begin with, they want their own codec which they can develop to be as effective as possible for the services they provide, it's not as if they will be doing less online video transfer in the future (Google Glass says hello).

Thankfully they are being (as often) generous and are releasing this as a royalty free open source codec which can be used by anyone.

The next iteration of h264 is h265, and the next iteration of vp8 is vp9, both are in active development and it's pretty impossible to gauge their quality against eachother due to their state of flux in regards to effectiveness/tuning but needless to say they both already improve on their predecessors.

When the vp9 specification is finally frozen it will be interesting to see if Google will need to make another patent agreement with MPEGLA or if they already took care of any possibly infringing patents in the existing agreement.

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