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Google & MPEG LA Reach VP8 Agreement

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  • Google & MPEG LA Reach VP8 Agreement

    Phoronix: Google & MPEG LA Reach VP8 Agreement

    MPEG LA will not be forming a patent pool to go after Google's "royalty-free" VP8 video format...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTMyMTA

  • #2
    Right, now does anyone have a Legal Speak to English translation?

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    • #3
      Some more information here: http://www.h-online.com/open/news/it...l-1818785.html

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      • #4
        So does this mean MPEG-LA has caved in to Google, after VP8 has been proven to be a very solid alternative to the patent-encumbered H264 family of codecs?

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        • #5
          That makes it a bit clearer, but... So MPEG LA wanted to find proof that VP8 was covered by software patents, but couldn't find enough, and now they officially gave up? It doesn't sound like a particularly important change...

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          • #6
            It might not seem like much, but this is an important change.

            The MPEG-LA was saying that they were putting together a patent pool since (they claimed) VP8 infringed on their members' patents. Apple was against WebM as the standard video format for HTML5 due to the "uncertain patent landscape". The major opposing force will have officially and publically declared "VP8 is dandy, no worries from us about patents there", so hopefully everybody can breathe more easily.

            When the terms of the sublicensing are made public, there should be no cause for uncertainty: every web browser can implement WebM, and every operating system can have WebM support out of the box.

            Assuming the sublicensing terms are good, this means there's a high-quality, open-standard, royalty-free video codec that can be used by anybody for any purpose.

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            • #7
              MPEG LA were bluffing all along. This news means they have finally folded.

              Their income comes from license fees for H264, so they had every incentive to spread FUD about VP8 for as long as they could get away with it.

              None of this means that VP8 is safe from patent lawsuits. Or, for that matter, H264 with a license from MPEG LA. Just because some company promises not to sue you for patent violations (whether you've paid them a licensing fee or not) doesn't mean that someone else isn't sitting on another patent somewhere waiting to pounce.

              Patents suck.

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              • #8
                VP8 isn't as good as H.264 I'm afraid. We need VP9! But I guess they're waiting for WebM to be adopted everywhere.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by xeekei View Post
                  VP8 isn't as good as H.264 I'm afraid. We need VP9! But I guess they're waiting for WebM to be adopted everywhere.
                  Looks like VP9 will also be covered under that agreement as well barring any other last minute patents tripping it up. So soon we'll see a codec that's as good as H.264, but if it is BETTER than h.264 that may make MPEG-LA howl and do more digging to see if there are any patents that cover VP9 (which I hope there are none)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by xeekei View Post
                    VP8 isn't as good as H.264 I'm afraid. We need VP9! But I guess they're waiting for WebM to be adopted everywhere.
                    Still too little, too late I'm afraid. h265 already has a large consortium of licensees. MPEG-LA achieved it's goal of putting enough uncertainty in WebM until h265 was ready to go again making Googles efforts futile.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by xeekei View Post
                      VP8 isn't as good as H.264 I'm afraid. We need VP9! But I guess they're waiting for WebM to be adopted everywhere.
                      It's certainly good enough for online video quality-wise. Just download youtube videos in webm (vp8) and mp4 (h264) and compare them visually, I can't decide which is which by just looking, and in terms of file sizes they are about the same, sometimes webm is a bit smaller and sometimes the mp4 file is a bit smaller. If you do test with ssim or psnr, or examine the video on a frame by frame basis you will most likely find that h264 retains better quality per bit than vp8 but it's not by some wide margin.

                      Like others said this should remove the last obstacle from making vp8 (and hopefully later on vp9) the official standard html5 video codec.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                        Still too little, too late I'm afraid. h265 already has a large consortium of licensees. MPEG-LA achieved it's goal of putting enough uncertainty in WebM until h265 was ready to go again making Googles efforts futile.
                        h265 is nowhere 'ready to go', you obviously have no idea of where it's at implementation-wise. The standard specification has just been finalized, the current encoder implementations are by all accounts unfinished and very unoptimized, not to mention that the amount of tuning that has gotten h264 encoders like x264 to reach the quality we are enjoying today is years away. Hardware decoding implementations in consumer devices won't show up until next year at the earliest.

                        VP8 is considered as a standard royalty free video codec for HTML5 online video, and it's the only real option at the moment as h264 is not royalty free. It's a great thing if VP8 becomes a HTML5 video standard, same goes for WebRTC. As for Google's part though, the most likely reason they bought On2 was so that they would have a codec they could specifically tune for their own online video services, particularly real-time video which is where they seem to have put alot of effort.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
                          h265 is nowhere 'ready to go', you obviously have no idea of where it's at implementation-wise. The standard specification has just been finalized, the current encoder implementations are by all accounts unfinished and very unoptimized, not to mention that the amount of tuning that has gotten h264 encoders like x264 to reach the quality we are enjoying today is years away. Hardware decoding implementations in consumer devices won't show up until next year at the earliest.

                          VP8 is considered as a standard royalty free video codec for HTML5 online video, and it's the only real option at the moment as h264 is not royalty free. It's a great thing if VP8 becomes a HTML5 video standard, same goes for WebRTC. As for Google's part though, the most likely reason they bought On2 was so that they would have a codec they could specifically tune for their own online video services, particularly real-time video which is where they seem to have put alot of effort.
                          Broadcom already is ramping up production of their BCM7445 as well as ViXS and others. The final spec has been around for a while now it was just the final ratification that just happened recently. Samsungs 2013 TV's also have h265 support (F8500). Sorry man but two years ago people were claiming how VP8 was gonna kill h264, that hasn't even come close to happening. Same thing is going to happen with VP9.

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                          • #14
                            I never claimed vp8 was going to kill h264, nor have I seen anyone else say so. Why would vp8 have to kill h264? Or vp9 have to kill h265? Just as h264 is a technically better codec than vp8, h265 will likely end up being technically better than vp9, but I'm certain that just as in vp8 vs h264 the difference won't be huge by any stretch.

                            What matters is that vp8 (and likely vp9) is free for anyone to use, and free to be part of a royalty free standard for web video and be an official part of HTML5. Any company, individual, whatever can encode and distribute videos using vp8, implement it in any type of services, and if it becomes the HTML5 standard video format then it opens up a ton of opportunity, especially now as we are seeing massive hardware support for webm (vp8, vp9) from arm, broadcom, amd, nvidia etc.

                            Given that 'royalty free' is one of the key aspects of the 'standard' codec the HTML5 working group is deciding on I'd say vp8 is now, particularly in light of this this patent agreement to dispel uncertainties, the only logical candidate. With this and Opus as the official standard HTML5 audio codec we will have a royalty free top class video/audio combination which can be implemented everywhere with no licencing costs and be expected to work anywhere HTML5 is supported.

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                            • #15
                              It's too late - but then, it was already too late before VP8 was released. The catch is the recording devices - if I film something using my camera, it's in H264, not VP8. And I'm *not* going to spend time transcoding it, just for the sake of using a codec with a better license.

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