Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Aug 2010 13:22 UTC
Multimedia, AV We haven't talked about this one for a while, but now there's news from the MPEg-LA camp. The MPEG-LA, known patent troll and chief supplier of FUD for well over ten years, is apparently feeling the pressure from Google's WebM project, and has done a complete 180. While promising earlier this year not to charge royalties for internet video that is free to end users until the end of 2015, they've now extended this promise to eternity. This may sound like a big deal, but it changes nothing - H264 is still a legal minefield even lawyers and the MPEG-LA itself have trouble understanding.
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RE: So
by Neolander on Thu 26th Aug 2010 15:26 UTC in reply to "So"
Member since:

No, you ;)

First because the MPEG-LA still may proceed to act in an Unisys-like fashion if H.264 catches up on the web. As Thom points out a simple ad already is "commercial use of H.264". (This is probably why Google currently helps us to get rid of H.264 by the way).

Second because the H.264 format isn't as tightly coupled with the computer world as you may think. Last time a friend told me about getting H.264 video from a mid-end camcorder in AfterEffects and Premiere, it was still a nightmare. Flash video is partly VP6 content, not always H.264. Most videos found on the web use things like DivX, XviD in an MKV container, or WMV.

H.264 has won the war in a few areas, like camcorders, video discs, and Apple devices. But in the PC world, video encoding still is a mess with no dominant standard. In the mobile world, there is more or less a de facto standard, but if I remember well it's H.263 (probably because of how much it hogs a poor low-end cellphone CPU to decode H.264 video).

The MPEG-LA can fear about WebM, despite what you may think, because it's backed by Google. Google, who own Youtube, so... say... 85% of the videos seen on the web everyday. And Android, too. They have some serious firepower, more than enough to banish the MPEG-LA's profitable baby from the profitable PC world and a growing part of the mobile world if they want to. What they will do with this power, however, still remains to be seen...

Edited 2010-08-26 15:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

by jrincayc on Fri 27th Aug 2010 03:54 in reply to "RE: So"
jrincayc Member since:

I would rather H.263 becomes entrenched rather than H.264, since it is getting old enough that any patents will start expiring in the next five or so years.

Reply Parent Score: 1