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Google Opens Up VP8, Launches New Container Format

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  • #11
    Originally posted by Zajec View Post
    And Gstreamer too: http://blogs.gnome.org/uraeus/2010/0...and-gstreamer/

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    • #12
      I couldn't make it to work with the developer preview builds of Firefox. Anyway. There are two licenses, one for the software--BSD-style--and other for the bitstream specification. They also ask for copyright assignment from contributors. It seems their legal department has been working hard to shield Google from patent litigation. This is the text of the bitstream specification license:

      Google hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, and otherwise implementations of this specification where such license applies only to those patent claims, both currently owned by Google and acquired in the future, licensable by Google that are necessarily infringed by implementation of this specification. If You or your agent or exclusive licensee institute or order or agree to the institution of patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that any implementation of this specification constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, or inducement of patent infringement, then any rights granted to You under the License for this specification shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.
      So...if a licensee attempts to pursue patent litigation, their rights to WebM granted by this license are terminated. But how does this work with companies, say Apple? Can Google, as a content provider, force Apple and Microsoft to provide out of the box support for WebM and thus be safe from patent litigation? That would be genius.

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      • #13
        Great, *great* news! Freaking yeah!

        Originally posted by Lattyware View Post
        I really don't see the need for the 'webm' format. Matroska is there, why do we need another container with more limitations when Matroska does it so well?
        Because Matroska is too complex and somewhat arcane. A simplified version would be pretty nice.

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        • #14
          The 64K question, will it be accelerated by Radeon? I mean will someone provides hardware acceleration for this codec?

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          • #15
            Good question about WebM vs. Matroska. Maybe it's sth about streaming support? Or putting audio/video encoded with new format inside MKV is problematic?
            Err.. actually, is MKV open container?

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            • #16
              Finally! I've been waiting for this since they bought On2. It seemed really suspicious buying them right after html 5 spec was changed. I'm glad I wasn't just putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by Beiruty View Post
                The 64K question, will it be accelerated by Radeon? I mean will someone provides hardware acceleration for this codec?
                Let's hope some Gallium hacker will appear...

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by yotambien View Post
                  So...if a licensee attempts to pursue patent litigation, their rights to WebM granted by this license are terminated. But how does this work with companies, say Apple? Can Google, as a content provider, force Apple and Microsoft to provide out of the box support for WebM and thus be safe from patent litigation? That would be genius.
                  Assuming that On2 has a patent portfolio that could be used against Microsoft/Apple, that's one possible avenue. I'm pretty sure MPEG-LA members are dissecting the VP8 format as we speak to find ammunition for patent lawsuits.

                  Even if cross-licensing agreements don't come to pass - unlikely, but they might be delayed for a year or three - Google is still the 800-pound gorilla in the format wars. Apple/Microsoft cannot really choose to ignore youtube if they wish to keep their browsers relevant to the modern web. Were they to choose that, Chrome and Firefox usage would likely explode as a result (even ignoring the fact that Chrome is gaining traction rapidly).

                  Not to mention that Google has the advertising mojo to get the unwashed masses to change to Chrome.

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                  • #19
                    Yes, I think that license oddity is there precisely to back themselves up. Actually, in the FAQ they explain they didn't use the Apache 2 license solely to include this clause.

                    According to this, Google commited themselves to transcode EVERY youtube video to WebM.

                    And according to, well, Microsoft, IE9 will support WebM.

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                    • #20
                      Does On2 not have patents covering parts of .h264, especially given the similarities between .h264 and On2's current and past codecs and On2's work in the field over the years? That alone may be Google's strategy here. "If you piss on our parade, we'll take a dump all over yours, so stay the hell away from us."

                      Either way, so long as WebM is used for Web video, I believe the current .h264 licensing doesn't let MPEG-LA sue anyway, at least until 2015 or whenever it was.

                      Obviously, IANAL.

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