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: Comment by Nelson
by Valhalla on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
Valhalla
Member since:
2006-01-24

Stop equaling granted software patents with innovations, as we've seen countless times in the past these patents are very often being granted without being the least bit innovative.

Obviously VP8 is potentially infringing on other software patents given how broad and widely defined they are by conscious design, same goes for h264/h265 and sadly practically all other software out there.

That does not mean that they are in fact infringing. This has to be decided in court (hopefully by a skilled judge and jury). I have no doubt that under courtroom scrutiny extremely few granted software patents will remain valid.

Still I think this is a wise move by Google, and a great day for the idea of a free open source royalty free web video standard.

With the potential patent threat thwarted we can finally have a standard that runs across all browsers without anyone having to pay a licence fee to implement it, same goes for anyone wanting to start a site serving online video in one form or another.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by jared_wilkes on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:37 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

After today, it's no longer free. Or at least for Google and the sublicensees. Anyone else is still under legal threat.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by some1 on Thu 7th Mar 2013 23:07 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

We don't know how much it cost for Google (if anything), but it's free for everyone using the license:
http://blog.webmproject.org/2013/03/vp8-and-mpeg-la.html
http://www.webmproject.org/license/additional/

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Valhalla on Thu 7th Mar 2013 23:19 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

After today, it's no longer free. Or at least for Google and the sublicensees. Anyone else is still under legal threat.

What are you babbling about?

This agreement allows for Google to sublicense the techniques to any user of VP8, whether the VP8 implementation is by Google or another entity; this means that users can develop independent implementations of VP8 and still enjoy coverage under the sublicenses.

Google intends to license the techniques under terms that are in line with the W3C’s definition of a Royalty Free License. This definition can be found here: http://www.w3.org/2001/07/SVG10-IPR-statements We anticipate having the sublicense ready in the next few weeks. The terms will appear on the WebM Project website at http://webmproject.org


By using vp8 you become a sub-licencee, under the terms of w3c's royalty free licence.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 7th Mar 2013 22:37 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Stop equaling granted software patents with innovations, as we've seen countless times in the past these patents are very often being granted without being the least bit innovative.


That's how the system works. You apply for a patent, if it passes some basic scrunity you're granted a patent, and if someone else feels it is invalid, they can ask the relevant Governmental agencies to make a determination in that regard.

Just because you view some of them as frivolous and invalid (and I don't disagree) it does not mean that they are all bad.


Obviously VP8 is potentially infringing on other software patents given how broad and widely defined they are by conscious design, same goes for h264/h265 and sadly practically all other software out there.


Correct. H264 never claimed that they were an unencumbered spec. What they do have is infrastructure in place to license the thousand or so patents that make up the spec. In addition, they are also a central place for future patent holders to be included in the pool.


That does not mean that they are in fact infringing. This has to be decided in court (hopefully by a skilled judge and jury). I have no doubt that under courtroom scrutiny extremely few granted software patents will remain valid.


We hold the same position. Patents are granted by the USPTO, but validated by a Judge or some government panel.


Still I think this is a wise move by Google, and a great day for the idea of a free open source royalty free web video standard.


Of course its a wise move. They avoid going to court. I'd argue it was their only sensible move.


With the potential patent threat thwarted we can finally have a standard that runs across all browsers without anyone having to pay a licence fee to implement it, same goes for anyone wanting to start a site serving online video in one form or another.


Thanks to Google doing what some more sensible people have been advocating all along: Taking a license.

If Google would do this with Android, Thom would run out of patent articles to write about. They need to take a license.

Reply Parent Score: 3