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WebM and VP8
WebM is an audio-video format requiring 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. VP8 was originally developed by On2, which was bought by Google, who released the format as free software.
WebM uses the VP8 video format and the Ogg Vorbis audio format.
Using and advocating WebM
- How to upload a video to YouTube and ensure it is made available as WebM
- (FSF will launch PlayFreedom.org in early 2011)
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
Google's WebM software
VP8 video codec
VP8 is a video codec and format created by On2 (now owned by Google) and recently 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.
MPEG LA threats
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).
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
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