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[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 7th Mar 2013 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

I thought VP8 was not patent encumbered? Kinda throws that right out of the window.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by RshPL on Thu 7th Mar 2013 21:51 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
RshPL Member since:
2009-03-13

Question raises: is it possible to write even simplest software that is not patent encumbered for sure?

In my opinion it is very doubtful, that is why the big players build up their patent portfolios. FUD is the reason.

I would suggest that saying that VP8 is not patent encumbered really means that it is not practically patent encumbered. (as weird as it sounds)

Edited 2013-03-07 21:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:28 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

No. Which makes the hilarious comments some people made when VP8 was announced even funnier. This is an impossibility.

You can argue about VP8 having better technical merits, but what you can't do is claim immunity from patent litigation. It is just at odds with reality.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by M.Onty on Thu 7th Mar 2013 23:19 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Yes, so long as you make it clear its intended for use outside of America.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by TechGeek on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:21 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

I thought VP8 was not patent encumbered? Kinda throws that right out of the window.



No it doesnt. What it does is avoid costly litigation to prove it one way or the other. But considering how long the MPEG-LA have been asking for patents to use against Google, if they had anything concrete, they would have already gone to court. The real question is will this allow Google to use VP8 as an open source codec like it planned.

Google may have been completely right about VP8 all along. But sometimes its just cheaper to settle.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:31 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


No it doesnt. What it does is avoid costly litigation to prove it one way or the other. But considering how long the MPEG-LA have been asking for patents to use against Google, if they had anything concrete, they would have already gone to court. The real question is will this allow Google to use VP8 as an open source codec like it planned.

Google may have been completely right about VP8 all along. But sometimes its just cheaper to settle.


Sometimes it's cheaper for Google to stop pretending it is above patent law. I don't know if VP8 infringes on H264 patents or not, but what is obviously clear is that it is absurd to claim it infringes on no patents at all. That's just not a reality.

To diss H264 for being patent encumbered while praising VP8 for not being patent encumbered is wrong. The fact of the matter is, it likely does infringe on some patent, some where, by somebody. So selling people on the premise that it is some sort of patent sanctuary is inaccurate.

Google is the same company that went up against Sun. If Google thought they genuinely had a chance to invalidate a bunch of MPEG LA patents, it would've jumped at the chance. That's peanuts compared to the upside for Google.

They likely determined that VP8 probably infringed on patents, and took a license.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by jared_wilkes on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:35 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

They now have an agreement in hand that says Google is paying them for IP... That Google that said it was completely free monetarily and of other people's patents.

I would say that's pretty damn concrete, more concrete than a legal action.

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.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by lemur2 on Fri 8th Mar 2013 01:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I thought VP8 was not patent encumbered? Kinda throws that right out of the window.


You are partly correct ... VP8 is patent encumbered, but Google gives everyone an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free license to use the patents embedded in VP8 which Google owns.


11 companies apparently had ambit claims that they had patented techniques which also applied to VP8. To head off possible (dubious) claims of infringement and subsequent lawsuits, without any admission that those techniques do apply:

FTA:
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.


So the situation remains almost as before ... anyone and everyone still has an irrevocable, perpetual royalty-free right to use and/or implement VP8. The only difference now is that the vague threat from MPEG LA of lawsuits against VP8 has now been eliminated as a possibility.

So you might say that any threat of a lawsuit has been thrown right out of the window.

Edited 2013-03-08 02:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Lobotomik on Fri 8th Mar 2013 11:01 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Could it mean that it is MPEG who is patent encumbered? Either that or VP8 infringes no MPEG-LA patents. Or why else have they deposed their weapons in exchange for nothing?

What is certain is that you're clueless, and for some unfathomable reason full of love for MPEG-LA and full of hate for Google.

Reply Parent Score: 2