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Google and MPEG LA End All Disputes on VP8

by Abel Avram on Mar 08, 2013 |

Google has obtained a license for any algorithm that may be essential to VP8 and MPEG LA has a patent for it. Google has the option to sublicense VP8 royalty-free to third party implementers, opening the way for wide adoption of the VP8 codec.

Google has announced an arrangement with MPEG LA and 11 patent owners to license any “techniques that may be essential to VP8”. Google has also the option to sublicense those techniques free of charge to any third party that uses the libvpx implementation of VP8 or the VP8 data format specification. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

MPEG LA also announced reaching an agreement with Google, adding that they will no longer seek to form a VP8 patent pool, being pleased to “facilitate agreements with Google to make VP8 widely available to users.”

Google mentioned the intention to publish the sublicensing terms in the following weeks, but anyone could guess what those are going to be since Google reiterated their intent to provide an “open, royalty-free video codec that anyone can use, and that can inspire future innovators. Today's announcement is an important step toward that goal.”

Now that the licensing troubles are no longer an issue, Google, Mozilla, and Opera can push VP8 forward. Together they currently have about 60% of the browser market according to StatCounter, but chances are the codec won’t see wide adoption unless website masters and CDNs will perceive it as providing substantial performance improvement. In the meantime, Google has recently announced that Chrome for Android will use a proxy that optimizes and transcodes all images to the WebP format in the near future. WebP is an image format that uses an algorithm taken from VP8, and provides 25% reduction in image size for lossless images compared to PNG, and 25-34% compared to JPEG when using the lossy format, according to Google.

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Wonderful by Eric Aguiar

I consider WebP to be a fine picture format, and combined with sharing the x264 codebase to create xvp8 using similar video encoding techniques and optimizations it SHOULD be our future web video format which isn't sub-par but h264 quality AND free, a beautiful combination I value.

Re: Wonderful by shin guey wong

I'm still using FireFox(both Android & Windows) but it doesn't support WebP format....maybe should switch the Android from firefox to chrome for the webp support...

Why not just use H.264? by Alex Blewitt

H.264 is also free to use at the point of consumption and has hardware decoders for most operating systems already. The only thing VP8 had at one point was the promise that it was not patented and as such could be used by Free programs. If that isn't the case VP8 appears to have no benefits over H.264.

Re: Why not just use H.264? by Ronald Miura

Now, WebP can be used by Free programs (if Google do as expected, of course), H.264 can't.

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