Linked by David Adams on Fri 20th Apr 2012 01:31 UTC, submitted by fsmag
Multimedia, AV "When I started working on a no-DRM, open-standards-based solution for distributing high-definition video on fixed media ('Lib-Ray'), I naturally thought of Theora, because it was developed as a free software project. Several people have suggested, though, that the VP8 codec would be a better fit for my application. This month, I've finally gotten the necessary vpxtools and mkvtoolnix packages installed on my Debian system, and so I'm having a first-look at VP8. The results are very promising, though the tools are somewhat finicky."
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bassbeast
Member since:
2007-11-11

Well I'd say there is another problem that will be a real elephant in the room which is why Google refuses to indemnify VP8 which is the patents on H.264 are so wide and so numerous that frankly it would be extremely difficult to do much of anything with video without walking right into that minefield.

This is why I had hopes that developers would refuse to support HTML V5 unless a FOSS codec was chosen as baseline as that might finally bring this thing to a head but sadly it looks like the lure of iMoney nixed that and with Google refusing to step up to the plate frankly trying to get any kind of FOSS high def format adopted by the mainstream (and to get that crucial hardware support) is gonna be nearly impossible as the hardware manufacturers won't dare risk the wrath of MPEG-LA.

So I just don't see any FOSS format gaining any real traction as long as the specter of being buried in lawsuits by MPEG-LA hangs over the manufacturers. instead they will pay their MPEG-LA license fees and then since they have already paid why not just use H.264? What we need is the FSF and EFF to get together with several developers of software like this and have it out in court with MPEG-LA. Because as long as they can drop the patent bomb on any company at any time nobody is gonna risk going against them, their patent pool is just too vast.

After all the ONLY way for this format to gain any real traction is to have players manufactured (probably by small companies at first) and then build grass roots support but if MPEG-LA drops the patent bomb nobody will touch this with a 50 foot pole. And you can rest assured that there is NO WAY that MPEG-LA is gonna give up becoming the de facto standard for high def video without a nasty legal battle, there is simply too much profits involved.

Reply Parent Score: -1

Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Well I'd say there is another problem that will be a real elephant in the room which is why Google refuses to indemnify VP8 which is the patents on H.264 <snip>


That load of crap again? I thought the trolling had moved on. Oh well. No doubt Google will indemnify users of VP8 once MPEG-LA indemnify users of h.264. Until that time, any talk of indemnification is just double standards and can safely be ignored.

Reply Parent Score: 4

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

So your answer is to ignore the elephant in the room then? because that is what you are doing. After all i can buy an H.264 license and the odds are virtually nil that i will have a thing to worry about if I am a manufacturer because if H.264 is shot down it will cost MPEG-LA huge piles of money therefor they have a stake in the fight. Google on the other hand other than using it some on YouTube really doesn't seem to care one way or another about WebM so you would be on your own.

And this of course is a wonderful example of "welcome to fantasy island" where everything that doesn't follow your ideal MUST be some evil nasty dirty troll poo poo head, instead of what it is which is reality. Whether you choose to accept reality, which is MPEG-LA has a history of suing, has a metric buttload of money and could bury any small project in lawsuits, is of course up to you but don't pretend that just because you live on fantasy island that the rest of us live there too.

While i would love it if ALL software patents were abolished tomorrow that simply isn't the world we live in. Heck if MPEG-LA wanted to get nasty they could simply start by crushing X264 since they didn't use clean room engineering to come up with their decoder/encoder. And if you honestly think that a company making the incredibly huge amounts that MPEG-LA makes on licensing is gonna say 'Oh your FOSS? Well that makes all the difference, lets hold hands and dance through the flowers" if you threaten their business i have a bridge you might be interested in. Whether you like it or not until software patents are abolished they hang over every project like this one like a Sword of Damocles and can be just as dangerous.

Reply Parent Score: 0

0brad0 Member since:
2007-05-05

Well I'd say there is another problem that will be a real elephant in the room which is why Google refuses to indemnify VP8 which is the patents on H.264 are so wide and so numerous that frankly it would be extremely difficult to do much of anything with video without walking right into that minefield.

This is why I had hopes that developers would refuse to support HTML V5 unless a FOSS codec was chosen as baseline as that might finally bring this thing to a head but sadly it looks like the lure of iMoney nixed that and with Google refusing to step up to the plate frankly trying to get any kind of FOSS high def format adopted by the mainstream (and to get that crucial hardware support) is gonna be nearly impossible as the hardware manufacturers won't dare risk the wrath of MPEG-LA.

So I just don't see any FOSS format gaining any real traction as long as the specter of being buried in lawsuits by MPEG-LA hangs over the manufacturers. instead they will pay their MPEG-LA license fees and then since they have already paid why not just use H.264? What we need is the FSF and EFF to get together with several developers of software like this and have it out in court with MPEG-LA. Because as long as they can drop the patent bomb on any company at any time nobody is gonna risk going against them, their patent pool is just too vast.

After all the ONLY way for this format to gain any real traction is to have players manufactured (probably by small companies at first) and then build grass roots support but if MPEG-LA drops the patent bomb nobody will touch this with a 50 foot pole. And you can rest assured that there is NO WAY that MPEG-LA is gonna give up becoming the de facto standard for high def video without a nasty legal battle, there is simply too much profits involved.


Although adoption has been a bit slow there is a lot going on. Android/Chrome/Firefox/Opera have support for WebM. A whole slew of SoCs used by phones and various appliances are going to be released over the next 6 months and some existing ones had upgraded DSP code as part of their SDK to allow HW accelerated VP8 decoding as well. My Boxee Box even has WebM support. IMO if this was such a big deal you would not have so many big name companies from across various industries commiting to WebM support.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Digitante Member since:
2012-04-21

Well I'd say there is another problem that will be a real elephant in the room which is why Google refuses to indemnify VP8 which is the patents on H.264 are so wide and so numerous that frankly it would be extremely difficult to do much of anything with video without walking right into that minefield.


If you can't avoid a risk, then it doesn't affect your choice. You just hold your breath and leap. As far as I can tell, the risks associated with Theora and VP8 are similar and both are better than any other available choice. H.264, on the other hand, is clearly off-limits.

After all the ONLY way for this format to gain any real traction is to have players manufactured


Depends a bit on what the goal is. I don't expect to put Blu-Ray out of business, just give the free-culture/indie-film community a better option than we've got now.

Casual viewers will probably be happy with DVDs, while serious movie fans will probably pop for an inexpensive HTPC anyway, which is becoming increasingly attainable. Lib-Ray is designed with the idea of being more convenient in that environment than Blu-Ray (or even DVD).

Meanwhile, anybody with an Android tablet or a desktop PC will probably be able to watch Lib-Ray without buying any new equipment. (At least I hope this will be true). Choosing SDHC as a hardware medium will help with that, as almost all of these devices already have a reader for it (and if they don't, they have USB which allows a reader to be attached easily).

Reply Parent Score: 3

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Well I'd say there is another problem that will be a real elephant in the room which is why Google refuses to indemnify VP8 which is the patents on H.264 are so wide and so numerous that frankly it would be extremely difficult to do much of anything with video without walking right into that minefield.


Google doesn't indemnify WebM users for the same reason that MPEG-LA doesn't indemnify H.264 users... No one licensing codecs (either commerical or OSS) does that.

Considering MPEG-LA makes people pay to use H.264 you would think that there might be a wee bit more outrage about them failing to indemnify their licensees, but nooooooo... everyone grills Google over it, even though they give there stuff away for free.

This is why I had hopes that developers would refuse to support HTML V5 unless a FOSS codec was chosen as baseline as that might finally bring this thing to a head but sadly it looks like the lure of iMoney nixed that and with Google refusing to step up to the plate frankly trying to get any kind of FOSS high def format adopted by the mainstream (and to get that crucial hardware support) is gonna be nearly impossible as the hardware manufacturers won't dare risk the wrath of MPEG-LA.


Google refusing to step up to the plate? What else do you want them to do for goodness sake...?

And why is hardware support so crucial - I still don't get this. WebM doesn't have to become a dominant format to "win" - it just has to exist. If companies want to use H.264 and pay for licences that is fine - why should I care? If I'm buying a little box to play netflix movies, why should I care what format they are in?

That isn't at all the point of WebM - the point is to have a video distribution format for the web that can be used without having to pay for licensing. All it needs to accomplish that is get widespread browser support and a little time...

Reply Parent Score: 3

westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

I just don't see any FOSS format gaining any real traction as long as the specter of being buried in lawsuits by MPEG-LA hangs over the manufacturers. instead they will pay their MPEG-LA license fees and then since they have already paid why not just use H.264?


For almost all practical purposes, the manufacturers you are talking about are H.264 licensors.

There are about thirty them, global industrial giants like Mitsubishi, Philips, Samsung and Toshiba.

H.264 fees are capped. The maximum bite is 20 cents a unit for a harware encoder/decoder. 10 cents a unit on sales of more than 5 million units a year.

The Enterprise Cap is $6.5 million a year.

Reply Parent Score: 1