WebM and VP8
WebM is an audio-video format which aims to require no patent royalties (something very rare in among audio-video formats). WebM has the backing of organisations such as Google, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and FSF.
WebM uses the VP8 video format and the Ogg Vorbis audio format. VP8 was originally developed by On2, which was bought by Google, who released On2's software as free software. As of 2013, Google is nearly finished the new VP9 format and a new WebM format may be planning to publish a new WebM format based on VP9 for video and Xiph.org's Opus for audio.
 Using and advocating WebM
- PlayFreedom.org - campaign by FSF
- How to upload a video to YouTube and ensure it is made available as WebM
 Technical details
WebM defines the overall format, with:
- The overall file structure based on the Matroska container
- Video compressed using the VP8 video codec
- Audio compressed using the Vorbis audio codec
In 2013 or 2014, Google may release a new WebM format using VP9 for video and Xiph.org's Opus for audio.
 Google's WebM software
 VP8 video codec
VP8 is a video codec and format created by On2 (now owned by Google) and released as open source under a BSD-like licence. It offers a higher quality alternative to the Ogg Theora codec, in the battle against the proprietary and patent-encumbered H.264 standard. The Xiph Foundation, which manages development of Ogg Theora, has announced their support for WebM.
 Google's deals with MPEG LA
The CEO of MPEG-LA, Larry Horn, claims to be preparing a patent pool to be used against VP8, and thus WebM. The threat may not be credible since similar claims were made against Ogg Theora but never materialised.
Google countered with a WebM Community Cross-License (CCL) initiative (25. April 2011).
 The March 2013 announcement
In March 2013, Google announced a deal with MPEG LA offering some protection. For details see: Monty of Xiph.org's blog post, and the comments, and also the links and comments in this LWN.net article, and the links in OSNews' article.
 The May 2013 announcement
In May 2013, Google published a draft VP8 Patent Cross-license Agreement.
- VP8 cross-license draft compatible with FOSS licensing, 29 May 2013, Software Freedom Law Center
- and Groklaw's commentary
- And a reaction from Florian Mueller (currently working for Microsoft): effectively blesses Microsoft's Android and Linux patent license deals
- Google releases a draft VP8 patent cross-license, 21 May 2013, LWN.net
- Google's VP8 codec license is OK after all, 31 May 2013, Simon Phipps
(Can you help? Need to review that draft and summarise the good and bad points)
 Related pages on en.swpat.org
- Harm to standards
- MPEG video formats
- HTML5 and video patents
- Use software from 20 years ago - the only other possibility for avoiding video patents
- Ogg Theora - another audio-video format, free from patent royalties
- WebM Project home page
- On2 VP8 home page
- WebM, Wikipedia
- The first in-depth technical analysis of VP8 – a review by a programmer who develops ffmpeg's 3rd party VP8 decoder and x264
- Google’s “Royalty-Free” WebM Video May Not Be Royalty-Free For Long, 20 May 2010 All Things Digital – reports a threat from MPEG-LA
- MPEG LA says that 12 patent holders have stepped forward with patents they believe are essential to the VP8 standard. A patent pool license could be next. 26. July 2011
- The WebM Community Cross-License (CCL) initiative
- Google backs open codec against patent trolls, 20 May 2010, The Register - Google replies
- Google open video codec may face patent clash, 21 May 2010, The Register
- An analysis of WebM and its patent risk, 25 May 2010, Carlo Daffara
- German court: VP8 does not infringe on Nokia patent, 6 Aug 2013, OSNews
- "Xiph.Org announces support for the WebM open media project". http://www.xiph.org/press/2010/webm/. "The Xiph.Org Foundation is pleased to announce its support of the WebM open media project as a project launch partner. As announced earlier today at the Google I/O Developer Conference, the WebM format combines the VP8 video codec, the Matroska container, and the Vorbis audio codec developed by Xiph into a high-quality, open, unencumbered format for video delivery on the Web. Xiph will continue to contribute to WebM as a whole and collaborate in its further development and deployment."
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