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Free Software Camps Wading Into VP8 Patent Fight

timothy posted 1 year,29 days | from the spearguns-would-be-good dept.

Google 113

An anonymous reader writes "As reported by Slashdot, Nokia recently notified the IETF that its RFC 6386 video codec (aka VP8, released by Google under a BSD license with a waiver of that company's patent rights) infringed several dozen of its patents; furthermore, Nokia was not inclined to license them under FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminating) terms. While the list provided by Nokia looks intimidating, Pamela Jones at Groklaw discovered that many appeared to be duplicates except for the country of filing; and even within a single country (e.g. the U.S.), some appeared to be overlapping. In other words, there may be far fewer distinct patented issues than what appears on Nokia's IETF form. Thom Holwerda at OSNews also weighed in, recalling another case where sweeping patent claims by Qualcomm and Huawei against the Opus open source audio codec proved to be groundless FUD. The familiar name Florian Mueller pops up again in Holwerda's article."

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113 comments

Thanks Microsoft! (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280273)

Thanks for the nostalgia and for reviving SCO in the guise of Nokia. It was nice of you to dig out Florian for a reprise too...

Re:Thanks Microsoft! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280397)

Over the last few decades, Nokia has spent more money in R&D than almost any other company in the world. They don't like free riders. Apple already learned this lesson. Now it's Google's turn. So einfach ist das.

Re:Thanks Microsoft! (0)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280441)

AC did you not even read the article? This is not about free "loaders" at all, this is about fud, and making a patent portfolio stand out.

Nokia research spending (4, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280669)

Over the last few decades, Nokia has spent more money in R&D than almost any other company in the world.

They do spend quite a lot but they're not top of the heap even just in technology companies. IBM [google.com] , and Microsoft [google.com] both spend considerably more on research.

Nokia has spent roughly $4-5 billion [google.com] per year but it's been dropping steadily from about $5B in 2009 down to about $3.7B last year. A very substantial sum to be sure but not out of line with other large tech companies and they've been forced to spend steadily less due to their financial position. Kind of amazing that they can't seem to develop a hit phone when they spend 5X what Apple does on R&D. Makes you wonder what the heck they are doing.

Re:Nokia research spending (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281443)

> Kind of amazing that they can't seem to develop a hit phone when they spend 5X what Apple does on R&D. Makes you wonder what the heck they are doing.

Actually we recently had this discussion. :-) Two anonymous cowards posted these beautiful summaries which points out the main difference between Apple and other companies that I believe is the key reason:

http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3390319&cid=42624947 [slashdot.org]

"> What he's saying is that Apple has an actual functional internal milestone systems
Exactly. Look, Apple designers have to come up with just as many bad ideas ad the Philips designers, but at Apple, they get killed of early. At Philips, they spend resources pulling those bad ideas along until they're almost ready to ship, and then decide which will die. It means most of the development cycle is a farce, and if the engineers/designers know there's a 90% chance that the thing they're working on will never be manufactured, it means you're not going to get their best, most serious effort.

and

http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3390319&cid=42623243 [slashdot.org]

The big difference in how Apple did it, and still does it, is that Apple identifies a product people would want to use and doesn't currently exist or at least doesn't broadly exist in an easily usable form. Then Apple goes out and buys, develops or partners with a company to develop technologies that make that product work or work better. The company then evaluates the product before shipping it, deciding if the product is really something people would use. Rarely does the company have a change of heart about the basic product, but sometimes products get killed because the result doesn't really work in a way the customer would like it. For example, if a product doesn't work smoothly, it may be delayed until faster processors come along. The G5 MacBook Pro was fully developed and then killed because (among some other issues) the battery life was so short no one would find it useful.

And that's why Apple products usually ship, because they were designed to ship from day 0. Philips products started out being made simply because they could be, and so many of them died on the vine when it was realized no one wanted them or even if they just can't convince any product division they would like to ship that product.

From "iPod Engineer Tony Fadell On the Unique Nature of Apple's Design Process"
* http://apple.slashdot.org/story/13/01/17/2328245/ipod-engineer-tony-fadell-on-the-unique-nature-of-apples-design-process [slashdot.org]

Re:Nokia research spending (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | 1 year,29 days | (#43282361)

Kind of amazing that they can't seem to develop a hit phone when they spend 5X what Apple does on R&D. Makes you wonder what the heck they are doing.

Perhaps they're doing more basic science stuff. Maybe they have people at the Large Hadron Collider?

Either that or some people in R&D are driving around in diamond encrusted Bentleys.

Re:Nokia research spending (1)

steelfood (895457) | 1 year,29 days | (#43282729)

Nokia is not a design company. They're an engineering company. Which to start, means that their phones probably would turn out more like Linux than OSX.

That having been said, Nokia's R&D also is more engineering-focused. Hardware, signals processing, accessibility, etc. They'll be trying to cram a large swiss army knife worth of tools into a phone, or coming up with new antenna designs to improve signal transmission and reception, or finding new materials to make lighter, thinner phone casings.

Culture (2)

sjbe (173966) | 1 year,29 days | (#43283007)

Nokia is not a design company. They're an engineering company.

They make most of their money selling phones. As such they are a consumer electronics company. Nokia doesn't make the majority of their money selling engineering. They may have an engineering culture but that isn't the same thing. Similarly Apple is a consumer electronics company that arguably has a design culture.

(Actually you can make a very credible argument that Apple really is a software company that bundles their software with nicely designed commodity hardware. One could put Android on an iPhone or Windows on a Mac but if Apple did that Apple's profit margins would disappear faster that you could say shareholder lawsuit because everything that truly makes their products different in important ways is in the software. A Mac running windows isn't much different from a PC from Dell or HP.)

Nokia's R&D also is more engineering-focused. Hardware, signals processing, accessibility, etc. They'll be trying to cram a large swiss army knife worth of tools into a phone, or coming up with new antenna designs to improve signal transmission and reception, or finding new materials to make lighter, thinner phone casings.

All of which is meaningless unless they can come up with products people want to buy or technology they can license to others who do have products people want to buy. I think large companies absolutely should have research labs working on some long term basic science and engineering problems. But Nokia is seriously in danger of going out of business. They have lost over $4 billion [google.com] in the last two years and their share price is around $3.28 per share as I write this. Their assets are falling faster than their liabilities. While they still have a lot of cash, they have been hemorrhaging cash for the last year or so. Their market cap is around $12 billion which Apple, Microsoft, Samsung or Google could buy with petty cash were they so inclined. (I doubt any of them would except maybe Microsoft)

Re:Culture (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | 1 year,29 days | (#43286003)

Didn't Nokia also make a bunch of money selling cell towers and other network stuff?
They have to compete with a few other big companies in that area now. Seems like they've been pushed out.

"So einfach ist das" (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43281155)

Florian, is it you?

Nothing to do with Microsoft... (-1, Flamebait)

recoiledsnake (879048) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280465)

Why should Nokia, whose mobile business was undercut by Google using its search monopoly profits to dump a free mobile OS onto the market, give away their hard earned patents for free to Google so that they can reduce their costs on Youtube? Google can easily pay them some of the $50B cash hoard they have for them to go away. It'd be a disservice to Nokia's shareholders if Nokia didn't try to extract some money for their IP from Google.

Re:Nothing to do with Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280527)

This is about FUD, not revenue.

Re:Nothing to do with Microsoft... (0)

mystikkman (1487801) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280563)

This is about FUD, not revenue.

Nonsense, if Google offered a couple of billion, Nokia would take it yesterday. Nokia had to sell off its headquarters because they were cash strapped.

Everything has a price and this is just posturing to extract the maximum price possible. To add some conspiracy to this is just Groklaw and Slashdot trying to rile up the masses with FUD to score page hits.

Note that Nokia is declaring the patents *during* the standardization process, instead of waiting a couple of years for it to get on a few hundred million devices and then unleash the patents like patent trolls like to do with submarine patents.

Re:Nothing to do with Microsoft... (0)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280879)

Why should google payoff a company without proof it infringes, or do you believe everything you read and when someone says it is infringed it has to be infringed. As for why they are doing it now, it is because it becomes harder to submarine a standard if you are part of the process, or a practicing entity.

Re:Nothing to do with Microsoft... (0)

mystikkman (1487801) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280965)

Why should google payoff a company without proof it infringes, or do you believe everything you read and when someone says it is infringed it has to be infringed.

I didn't say it infringed. It's the linked articles that are claiming that Nokia should give up the patents for free and to do otherwise is FUD and that the patents don't infringe because Qualcomm's patent claims didn't work out in the case of Opus.

Re:Nothing to do with Microsoft... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,29 days | (#43282133)

"Why should google payoff a company without proof it infringes"
Two good reasons:
- The cost to pay them off can be less than the legal costs of fighting, espicially if they manage to get an injunction.
- Even if it is blatantly obvious to anyone in the industry that the patents are junk, judges are not technical experts, so there is always some element of risk.

Re:Nothing to do with Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280597)

Read the article.

Nokia is dead to me (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281157)

And I say that as a booster who was happy with an n810 and the Qt work just a few years ago. Sorry about that cancer you got, Nokia (or was it MS?), but it's changed you and it's fatal.

Re:Nokia is dead to me (-1, Troll)

terjeber (856226) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281525)

Wow, so when Nokia is trying to prevent Google from just copying hard work done by Nokia, Nokia is bad? So theft is OK?

Re:Nokia is dead to me (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43282019)

Nice strawman you're attacking.

(A) patent infringement is not theft.

(B) Nokia's patents are redundant, mutually overlapping, and practically garbage. And will be invalidated in short order by a deluge of prior art reports.

(C) "Good" and "bad" are inappropriate. However, calling out Nokia as a patent troll in the employ of Microsoft is always appropriate.

So, seriously, Florian, when did you get this sockpuppet account?

Re:Nokia is dead to me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43285563)

(B) Nokia's patents are redundant, mutually overlapping, and practically garbage. And will be invalidated in short order by a deluge of prior art reports.

You poor naive bastard...lol...you've either just become acquainted with the tech industry, or you're a very slow learner.

(C) "Good" and "bad" are inappropriate. However, calling out Nokia as a patent troll in the employ of Microsoft is always appropriate.

It's nothing to do with Microsoft, seriously you Google shills need a new job. Google tried to pull the wool over everyone's eyes claiming that VP8 was not patent-encumbered yet wouldn't indemnify users, now we could all see it indeed was patent-encumbered and that Google was willing to throw anybody under the bus just to get adoption of their codec, but you like it when Google lies to you, so stop desperately trying to turn the evils of Google into some anti Microsoft rant through Nokia.

Re:Nokia is dead to me (1)

jonwil (467024) | 1 year,29 days | (#43283355)

My current phone is a Nokia N900 but with all the crap they are doing, my next phone will definatly NOT be a Nokia (unless its another N900)

Re: Thanks Microsoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43283347)

Just when I want to forget and forgive, Microsoft does it again.

Aaaand it's gone! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280293)

Nokia, the new SCO?

Re:Aaaand it's gone! (1)

guruevi (827432) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280365)

It wouldn't surprise me if they brought Darl back to head up Nokia and they got an infusion of cash... oh wait... It just keeps rising from the dead.

Of course duplicates... (5, Interesting)

rakaz (79963) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280315)

Of course does the list contain duplicates. Patents are usually limited to specific jurisdictions. Patents granted by the US patent office are only valid in the US. That is why companies file the same patent in many jurisdictions. That does not make the list less intimidating, because for VP8 to be free they still need to be invalidated individually in many courts around the world. Just take a look at the recent case of Microsoft vs Motorola for how tricky this is. A US judge agrees with Microsoft, while a German judge agrees with Motorola.

Re:Of course duplicates... (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280345)

The point is, that if the patents all only cover one or two things, then you only need to do one or two things to get around the patents. It also means that there's only one or two things to try and invalidate, be it through prior art, obviousness or whatever.

That's a much easier task than working around or fighting 89 or whatever distinct patents. Stating there are 89 patents overstates the relevance of them for no other reason than fear mongering because there aren't 89 or whatever different patents per se, just one or two different patents, filed in 30 odd jurisdictions or whatever the actual numbers are.

Re:Of course duplicates... (3, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280409)

For things like VP8 which we wish to standardize and be patent free, there should be some process for giving patent holders a limited amount of time to come forward with their grievances so that we don't get so far into the process before we decide we have to drop the whole project because of an existing patent. I think this should probably exist for all things, but especially things we want to be patent free. It really bothers me when somebody has been selling a product 2 or 3 years, and then somebody comes around with a patent that's 10 years old, and then expects them to pay for all the infringing they did over the lifetime of the product. It bothers me so much that I even feel bad for companies like Sony when it happens to them.

Re:Of course duplicates... (-1, Troll)

terjeber (856226) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281465)

there should be some process for giving patent holders a limited amount of time to come forward with their grievances so that we don't get so far into the process before we decide we have to drop the whole project because of an existing patent

I can see it now. Some mediocre Google engineers are looking through the H.264 spec and trying to copy it as best they can. They struggle with this for a few months and then they go "we didn't know there were patents, you should have brought your grievances to us earlier, we have now wasted a lot of time trying to copy your stuff (and not doing a good job at it on the way) - how could we know you had patents attached?".... "It's there, in that document on your desk. That document that describes the algorithm you are trying to copy". "Yeah, but we didn't read that part!!"

VP8 is a BAD copy of H.264. It has no upside for the consumer whatsoever. It doesn't make anyone more or less rich. Well, except Google that is. VP8 is created to save Google, and only Google money. It is doing so by literally stealing the works of others. Yeah. Do no evil my azz. Leeching of the works of others definitely comes in under the "do some bad shit" label.

Re:Of course duplicates... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43281921)

I can see it now. Some mediocre Google engineers are looking through the H.264 spec and trying to copy it as best they can. They struggle with this for a few months

Uh, VP8 actually came from a company called On2 which Google acquired in 2010. Since you don't know anything about the codec's history, I'm not going to take your opinions on the technical merits seriously either.

Re:Of course duplicates... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43284101)

I don't see a lot of overlap between your comment and reality...

No, there were no Google engineers (mediocre or otherwise) going through the H.264 spec in order to copy it. No, their engineers didn't struggle with anything codec-related for a few months, except for designing the webm wrapper. No, they were not writing a codec based on some document.

No, VP8 is not a copy of H.264, it's an (actually small) improvement over VP7, which is an iterative (and bigger) improvement over VP6. Some ideas from On2 codecs were later found in the MPEG-LA codecs, and vice versa... but most came from other places first anyway.
Yes, VP8 does make many more or less rich: it effectively made Mozilla less poor (among many others), because if it didn't exist, Mozilla would have had to pay MPEG-LA for every free download of Firefox or decide not to support the most widespread video format (MPEG-LA postponed the royalty only because VP8 entered the stage). No, VP8 doesn't make "only" Google money, it loses them money (in maintenance/salaries), but less so than submitting to frivolous patent claims. No, Google isn't literally stealing the works of others (in this case at least): they bought a project with a very long history, on which now someone has asserted claims (but nothing near a proof has been established yet).

But anyway, you're just trolling and have been modded accordingly.

Podcasts (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | 1 year,29 days | (#43282989)

It really bothers me when somebody has been selling a product 2 or 3 years, and then somebody comes around with a patent that's 10 years old, and then expects them to pay for all the infringing they did over the lifetime of the product.

The exact same extortion is occuring now, threatening podcast producers with some bullshit patent trolling - only *after* it was finally becoming financially viable for the real creative artists.

Re:Of course duplicates... (1)

IRWolfie- (1148617) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280663)

Look at the links before commenting. The patents in the US also include multiple continuations. That is why several have the exact same titles.

Two types of duplicates (2, Informative)

Theaetetus (590071) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280689)

Of course does the list contain duplicates. Patents are usually limited to specific jurisdictions. Patents granted by the US patent office are only valid in the US. That is why companies file the same patent in many jurisdictions.

That's absolutely correct. However, there's another type of "duplicate" that Groklaw mentions, which is a continuation application:

But even in the US-only context, you see the same title more than once. Those are continuations. What's that? It's where the really elaborate machinations live, and the submarine patents. It's how you argue with the USPTO when it doesn't approve your patent application or if it does how you keep adding to what you already got approved from the USPTO, something you can do over and over to time indefinite... Sigh. In other words, that's where you try to get more than you had in the beginning, maybe as you see what others are inventing so you can sue them. Blech. I so hate patent law.

Well, of course PJ hates patent law, since her understanding of it is so flawed. In reality, continuation applications are new applications, tied to the parent, that are typically filed to claim an invention in a slightly different way, to fix errors in the claims, or to address other unclaimed aspects of the invention. For example:
1) You claim A+B+C+D+E. The patent office determines it's patentable because even though A+B+C is known, no one has ever done D+E and it's not obvious to do so. So, in a continuation, you claim just D+E, leaving out the unpatentable cruft;
2) You claim A+B+C+D+E, but without realizing it, you accidentally said that A is ~B. Whoops. Pay the filing costs all over again, and fix the error;
3) Your patent application describes A+B+C+D+E but also F+G+H+J. You did this to save drafting and filing costs by bundling it all into one giant application, but you didn't have enough money to pursue both inventions initially. Now, a few years later, you file a continuation claiming F+G+H+J so that you can pursue it.

PJ's complaints, however, are incorrect: these aren't submarine patents, since continuations are published almost immediately. You also can't add anything to what the parent application contained. Change anything beyond a misspelled word, and the application is rejected as containing new matter. And finally, you can't do it for time indefinite, since the continuations all expire on the same date as the parent. If you file an application on Jan 1, 2010, any patents issuing from it or the continuations expire on Jan 1, 2030. So, while you can keep filing continuations right up until Dec 31, 2029, they all expire on that final day, so you really aren't extending any rights temporally.

For someone who writes a lot about patents and talks to a lot of professors and patent lawyers, PJ sure misses some fundamental details.

Re:Two types of duplicates (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281133)

While I don't know law that well, submarine patents are a well-known concept. From your description, they seem impossible. So from your perspective, what are submarine patents, and how do they differ from continuations?

Re:Two types of duplicates (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281411)

Submarine patent are like submarines. Hiding under the water waiting for the enemy to become entrenched and complacent and then spring to the surface and attack when it is least expected.

If Nokia were to do that, they would wait a couple of years till VP8/WebM gets on hundreds of millions of devices and then start filing patent cases. In this case, they're declaring the standard allegedly infringes their patents and provided a list of patents. As usual, Groklaw exaggerates things to mislead folks and to rake up mud like OMG SUBMARINE PATENTS when it is clearly not the case.

Re:Two types of duplicates (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43282117)

Unless Nokia isn't in it for money but rather, doing dirty work for Microsoft, wants to derail and end the whole WebM thing. Then the best strategy is to show up right at the start and scare everyone who is thinking about using WebM.

Re:Two types of duplicates (2, Informative)

Theaetetus (590071) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281541)

While I don't know law that well, submarine patents are a well-known concept. From your description, they seem impossible. So from your perspective, what are submarine patents, and how do they differ from continuations?

Submarine patents were a huge problem. Prior to 1995, (a) patent applications were not published until they were issuing, and (b) patents lived for 17 years from issue. So what you could do, if you were an evil sneaky bastard, would be to file an application in, say, 1970, and drag your heels on prosecuting it, asking for various examination delays and extensions. Say it issued in 1980 and published then (to expire in 1997)... You file a continuation application just before it issues, and again drag your heels. Maybe now it issues in 1985 and pops up, expiring now in 2002. And again, you file a continuation, and drag your heels further. And maybe the new one issues in 1990... twenty years after you first filed, and not expiring for another 17 years.
So, basically, a submarine patent is a continuation patent on old technology that only recently has issued and published (popping up to the surface). They're tough to invalidate, since the priority date is so long ago, and you need prior art that pre-dates that original filing date, but they can last for so long that everyone believes the technology is public domain and its in widespread use.

But this got fixed in the TRIPS treaty back in 1995. All patent applications publish after 18 months, with a few minor exceptions, and last for up to 20 years from the filing date, no more.

It also got fixed in a second way - courts started applying the laches doctrine, which says that if you intentionally delay getting your patent so as to sucker people in to infringing it, then you lose the ability to enforce it.

Technically, there are still a few submarine patents out there with pre-1995 priorities, but they're disappearing.

Re:Two types of duplicates (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43284089)

Seriously? Somebody moderated this "Troll"? Who got up on the wrong side of the web this morning?

Re:Two types of duplicates (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43281227)

Well, of course PJ hates patent law, since her understanding of it is so flawed.

Maybe you should re-read her comments about it, maybe starting with "It's where the really elaborate machinations live, and the submarine patents".

PJ's complaints, however, are incorrect: these aren't submarine patents, since continuations are published almost immediately.

One: She never said they where. Two: A continuation makes it look as if its part of the origional patent, which has a date of long before.
And that means that even though someone could have invented something after the first filing of such a patent, but before the filing of its continuation could have a hard time in making his patent stick.

Change anything beyond a misspelled word, and the application is rejected as containing new matter

And why do you think PJ mentioned "really elaborate machinations" ? Could that maybe be because some clever people are using some equally clever language which could mean pretty-much anything, depending on how you explain it ?
If you now take "some clever language" as the initial filing and the "explain it" as a continuation you have got a patent which did not really mean anything at the time of initial filing, but does on the date continuation.
And that, sir, is in short the mechanics of a submarine patent.

But to conclude, you do seem to agree that "several patents" on Nokia's list are actually just a single one, with just, in your eyes, some "better explaining" attached. Thank you sir.

Re:Two types of duplicates (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43281835)

Every time I spot one of your posts in a patent-related article, I just know you're going to come and defend patents despite the fact that they're evil.

You don't say? (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280321)

So when it comes time for MS to dish out more FUD Florian shows up? What a fucking surprise.

Re:You don't say? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280805)

A Linux zealot plays the FUD card and slanders a community scapegoat? What a fucking surprise.

Re:You don't say? (-1, Flamebait)

terjeber (856226) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281399)

You should go back to your elementary school and demand your money back. They apparently never taught you how to read.

Florian Mueller (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280343)

At least when I see that name, I can ignore the quotes and comments as being nothing more than a paid shill spouting BS.

Is VP8 still relavant? (0)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280373)

MPEG-LA made a binding agreement that licensing of H.264 decoders would be free forever. They have already said that agreement would also apply to H.265, which is due to be formalized soon. VP8 is only about as efficient as H.264, H.265 is considerably more efficient. The push for VP8 started when MPEG-LA wanted to charge a fee for licensing the decoder. It's now several years after that became a dead issue. The state of the art of video encoding has moved far past VP8. Why spend so much time and effort on an outdated codec?

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280401)

They still charge for the encoder.
Because VP8 is good enough and FREE, is why the big hassle is there. Giving up some performance to get out from under the MPEG-LA's thumb is well worth it.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280721)

Except it's not FREE, it infringes on several companies' patents. Some of those companies are cool with that, others are not, but it's a long way from being "free" - it's just a rehash of all existing video codec techniques, most of which are not free. Theora is the same, of course, but at least it tries not to step on others' toes. VP8 just says "I'm Google - move your fucking toes".

Why do we need yet another DCT and block-based motion compensation video compressor anyway? Of, right, because this one is "FREE". GOTO 10.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280811)

Except it's not FREE, it infringes on several companies' patents.

Citation needed.

Some of those companies are cool with that

Any company is "cool with it" if you pay them enough money. This is Nokia's way of asking google to pay more in licensing fees.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280893)

So what? The cost is chump change for producers. You're also not considering that what's "good enough" for a FREEtard like yourself isn't always "good enough" for others. You have ZERO reason to even care about an obsolete video codec that no one really gives a flying fuck about except that it's "FREE" and that gives you a raging zealot's hard-on.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43282755)

I don't give a flying fuck about that h.264 or what ever crap bullshit number it has. So fuck you and stick that up your ass, since you seem to like that so much.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (1)

westlake (615356) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281301)

They still charge for the encoder. Because VP8 is good enough and FREE, is why the big hassle is there.

This is what you owe MPEG LA for the use of a licensed H.264 encoder:

Personal and internal business use: 20 cents a unit, max. Paid by hardware and software manufacturers selling more than 100,000 units each year. Realistically, given the enterprise caps and volume discounts, 10 cents a unit or less.

User pays for content by subscription: Nothing until you have more than 100,000 subscribers.

User pays for content by title: 2 cents a title, max.

Internet distribution free to user is free to distribute. AVC Patent Portfolio License Briefing [mpegla.com]

It is not too difficult to find VP8 aware video editors. But video cameras, video hardware of kind, for any purpose?

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43282819)

Personal and internal business use: 20 cents a unit, max. Paid by hardware and software manufacturers selling more than 100,000 units each year.

Say you manage to make a decent browser with an H.264 decoder and distribute 10 million units (not that much, really).

You'd have to pay $2 million. Even if it's half that, that's still $1 million.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (1)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,29 days | (#43283245)

In other words, such an encoder can never be used to produce CC-BY content. Would you accept a compiler that could not be used to produce GPL code? Then why would you use an encoder that cannot produce Free content?

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280423)

And GPUs only support H264, not VP8.

End of story.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280515)

And GPUs only support H264, not VP8.

RIGHT NOW, GPUs only support H.264.
If VP8 became a standard that might change.

When talking about codecs one has to think long term.
We still use MP3 after more than 15 years.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280675)

Also, GPUs tend not to be as fixed-function as they used to be. Some of the nastier mobile parts are still pretty inflexible; but Nvidia has certainly been pushing the nearly-general-purpose compute capabilities of their PC line down into their Tegra products, and they probably won't be the only one.

There are certainly a lot of existing and near future parts that are fixed function and will never support anything else; but if the pressure remains, newer fixed function devices might support it, and programmable devices will always be a firmware update away from doing so.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (1)

Kjella (173770) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281067)

Also, GPUs tend not to be as fixed-function as they used to be. Some of the nastier mobile parts are still pretty inflexible; but Nvidia has certainly been pushing the nearly-general-purpose compute capabilities of their PC line down into their Tegra products, and they probably won't be the only one.

I've been paying a little attention to the possibility of shader-based decoding in the AMD open source drivers since AMD probably can't release UVD specs (their fixed function hardware) and so far it's been a dud, yes certain things are extremely well suited to GPUs and is done in shaders by the proprietary driver as well but other parts run very poor so they've been looking at mixed CPU/GPU solutions but then you have all sorts of latency/memory synchronization issues. In short, if you're not doing it all on the CPU you want some form of fixed function hardware and I imagine that is true for VP8 as well.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (4, Interesting)

jabuzz (182671) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280897)

In a few months time (aka this year) outside of the USA MP3 is going to be patent free. Even in the USA in a couple of years decoding will be patent free. MP3 is going to be around for a very very long time because there is a huge amount of material encoded in it, so it has momentum and the patents are expiring rapidly.

It's about locking out or controlling production (5, Insightful)

SIGBUS (8236) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280473)

They still have their palms out if you want to encode video for public consumption. It isn't about screwing the consumer so much as preventing the consumer from becoming a producer.

Re:It's about locking out or controlling productio (3, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281013)

Sigh.

If you sell individual videos more than 12 minutes long, you play MPEG-LA a royalty of of 2% or $0.02 per sale, whichever is less.
If you run a paid subscription service, and you have more than 100,000 subscribers, you pay MPEG-LA a royalty between $0.10 and $0.25 per subscriber per year.
If you broadcast your shows on TV, you pay either a one time fee of $2500 for each encoder, or between $0.005 and $0.01 per viewer per year.

If you make your videos available for free (even if they are ad supported) you pay no royalty.
If you sell videos less than 12 minutes long you pay no royalty.
If you run a subscription service with less than 100,000 subscribers you pay no royalty.

If that "prevents you from becoming a producer", you might want to rethink your business model.

(Source: the AVC/H.264 terms. [mpegla.com] )

Re:It's about locking out or controlling productio (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43282747)

Those terms can change. They will probably stay reasonable, but I'd rather have the peace of mind of non-licensed formats.

Also, if you distribute software (like a web browser) with an H.264 decoder you have to pay a significant amount of money.
This effectively limits browser makers to big companies or companies with a potentially annoying business model (ads etc.).

Re:It's about locking out or controlling productio (3, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | 1 year,29 days | (#43283809)

Here's my problem: because H.264 is a patented technology, you can't use it without the permission of the patent holders. So maybe today they are charging a couple of pennies per individual video, but how can I trust that this won't go up significantly tomorrow?

My understanding is that the H.264 patents won't expire until somewhere around 2027 or so. That is a long time to be at the mercy of patent holders.

Also, the technology being patented is a problem for free software projects like Firefox. I would like to see at least one video codec with acceptable performance that free software can use freely. Even if H.264 was licensed free-as-in-beer, there are restrictions on it that make it impossible for free software projects to use.

Google's lawyers spent a long time looking over VP8 before Google tried to set it free. So far no challenges to VP8 have really succeeded (MPEG-LA got some money, but failed to stop VP8 or get royalties, and that really must be considered a failure for MPEG-LA). I'm hoping and expecting that this challenge will, in the end, not succeed either.

If I'm right, what happens? Then VP8 becomes a free, lower-performing alternative to H.264. H.264 retains its status as the favorite codec at Apple, all those mobile devices still have H.264 built-in, and MPEG-LA can still collect the royalties. As you noted in your post, the royalties are not unreasonable.

It will be a similar situation as Vorbis and MP3. I consider Vorbis to be a success; it didn't kill MP3, but it did provide a useful alternative, and it kept the MP3 royalties from getting completely crazy. (Vorbis is actually technically superior to MP3, so I once had hopes it might "win" but it never happened.) I expect a similar story from VP8: it will never displace H.264 as the top format, and years from now people will sneer at it for "failing" to do so... but it will give Google and other companies a bargaining chip when MPEG-LA tries to raise royalties too much. They can make a serious threat to migrate their business away from H.264 and to VP8 if the royalties go too high.

If H.264 really was the only game in town, the industry would have to pay whatever rates MPEG-LA chose to set. And in the end, that means the consumers would pay.

If you can't see the stick (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43284991)

If you can't see the stick then maybe you're looking at the wrong end.

You clearly pointed out how insanely cheap it is to distribute video.

Now what if I want to manufacture a video camera that encodes directly to H.264. How much will I have to pay to embed that in my hardware? If it's a $3 key chain video recording camera, how much of my profit will I have to give up? And what if I want to manufacture a playback device that decodes H.264 or a video card that does same?

The 'video' is just the hook and it has to be 'near free' or there's be no market for the other end of the stick.

Re:It's about locking out or controlling productio (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281127)

It isn't about screwing the consumer so much as preventing the consumer from becoming a producer.

And controlling the playback devices, and therefore the means of production and distribution in the video arena.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280649)

MPEG-LA made a binding agreement that licensing of H.264 decoders would be free forever. They have already said that agreement would also apply to H.265, which is due to be formalized soon. VP8 is only about as efficient as H.264, H.265 is considerably more efficient.

The push for VP8 started when MPEG-LA wanted to charge a fee for licensing the decoder. It's now several years after that became a dead issue. The state of the art of video encoding has moved far past VP8. Why spend so much time and effort on an outdated codec?

They still charge for encoding. Perhaps more importantly, do you think that they made H.264 decoding free out of the goodness of their good little hearts, or because Google called their bluff?

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (1)

terjeber (856226) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281169)

They still charge for encoding. Perhaps more importantly, do you think that they made H.264 decoding free out of the goodness of their good little hearts, or because Google called their bluff?

Neither. Honestly, they did it because that is what the players in the MPEG-LA wanted. They knew that a new standard codec was needed. The knew Microsoft was giving away VC-1 for free, and without a free play-back situation for H.264, the proprietary, single vendor (and arguably better quality) VC-1 would become the standard - remember the Blu-Ray standard allows VC-1 in addition to H.264 and MPEG-2.

H.264 is a great codec. It took a lot to get it up and going and it took a lot to get it standardized and documented. It should be obvious to anyone that the parties should be rewarded for the effort. The idea that Google should be allowed to just copy (yeah, VP8 is a bad, bad, bad copy of H.264) it and get away with it is absurd.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43286199)

Who do you work for?

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (0)

qbast (1265706) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280659)

It is only about as efficient as H.264 *baseline profile*. Considering that recent hardware (even phones) has no problems with h.264 high profile, VP8 is in fact far behind.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280847)

It is only about as efficient as H.264 *baseline profile*. Considering that recent hardware (even phones) has no problems with h.264 high profile, VP8 is in fact far behind.

H.264 baseline profile is good enough for many uses. A free as in money alternative that is as good as H.264 baseline profile will take a lot of revenue away from the MPLA.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (-1, Troll)

terjeber (856226) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281219)

A free as in money alternative that is as good as H.264 baseline profile will take a lot of revenue away from the MPLA.

Why would it? If you are in the encode business, you have to support H.264, it's that simple. Anyone who produces content is going to have a tool to create H.264 content. So what is the purpose of VP8? None for the community as such. Remember, you and I do not pay for this unless we are content creators, and as a content creator, if you don't do H.264 or MPEG-2, both have license fees, then you are not creating content for anything but your own mastubatory needs.

So, VP8 is a codec for one player, and one player only, Google. They don't want to pay for encoding H.264 so they make a bad, cheap copy and try to convince the world that it is better off with that encoder in it. Reality is that it doesn't matter at all. VP8 is junk, and it is designed to have Google, and ONLY Google, pay less for content creation on YouTube and probably in the mobile space in the future. Nothing else. For everybody else it is irrelevant and will always be irrelevant.

This isn't Google trying to do no evil, this is Google wanting to free-load on the works of others.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281735)

Doesn't Google/YouTube have to still produce H.264 though? Unless you're assuming YouTube will go only VP8. If that's the case then everyone else will have the ability to play it so they can watch their cat videos.
I'm not defending their actions, just don't see how YouTube is any different from any other content creator in your scenario.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (1)

terjeber (856226) | 1 year,29 days | (#43283103)

Google has already announced (but not effectuated) that they will not support H.264 in Chrome in the future, only Ogg and VP8, so, no, they will probably not continue to support H.264 on YouTube. "The One Google Way or Fuck Off" is coming quite soon.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | 1 year,29 days | (#43284657)

Chrome dropping H.264 was announced over two years ago with absolutely no follow up. It's entirely possible they just changed their minds on the whole thing.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (2)

Kjella (173770) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280891)

MPEG-LA made a binding agreement that licensing of H.264 decoders would be free forever.

Ah no, if you want to provide an encoder or decoder there are royalties, and even if the recipient has a licensed decoder the sender must pay if you offer a subscription or PPV service. The only thing they've promised is that Internet Broadcast AVC Video like YouTube does not require extra payment for the use of the codec on top of what you've already paid for the decoder (typically through Windows, OS X, Chrome or Flash) and Google has paid for the encoder. P.S. If you do have an AVC encoder, you will typically find that the license terms say you can only use it for "personal and non-commercial use", anything else requires a special license from MPEG LA and it doesn't come cheap.

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (1)

terjeber (856226) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281605)

anything else requires a special license from MPEG LA and it doesn't come cheap.

You are right, if you sell videos over 12 minutes in length, you have to pay either 2% of the video in licensing fees, or $0.02, whichever is less. That is back-breaking bankruptcy-inducing fees right there. As mentioned above in the thread - if your business model can not support that, you should re-think it. Remember, this is only if you are selling videos some how, and getting paid directly for each one by the person buying it.

If you run a subscription service with more than 100 000 paying subscribers, you are going to be out 1/10th of a cent per subscriber per year or less. Again, go straight to bankruptcy, right?

Re:Is VP8 still relavant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43281387)

Providing H.264 is not always free:
http://1stdev.com/tremendum-transcoder/included-profiles/ [1stdev.com]

Quoted:
If you deliver video to your visitors free of charge, you are exempt of any royalties, however if you deliver H264 encoded video in a Pay-per-View mode or a paid subscription with a total of more than 100,000 members per year basis (about 274 signups per day without renewals), you are subject to pay licence royalties. (About $0.02 per title or 2% of the title price for PPV, and $25,000 and up for sites with more than 100,000 members per year).

Patent trolls are nearly the worst (-1, Flamebait)

Chrisq (894406) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280429)

They want to live on the work of others and don't mind the damage they cause to do it. Only Muslims exceed them in these qualities.

Re:Patent trolls are nearly the worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280601)

I don't know, it seems like early 19th century Americans from the south exceed patent trolls and even whatever screwed up bigoted caricature of Muslims you have in your head, as an easy and relatively recent example.

Re:Patent trolls are nearly the worst (1)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280629)

Uhm.... wow. Seems really wrong somehow. But I think I see what you're trying to say.

"The systems" are in place to support "the thing." The copyright system is in place to support creators of creative works. The patent system is in place to support the creators of inventions. But somehow, there are people who game the system to make the system itself how they make their money.

The systems themselves should be the method by which government protects works of practicing entities. But instead the systems themselves are the things because they are non-practicing entities. And yes, that's very wrong and far from the intent of the systems.

As for Muslims? Sorry, but I don't get it. What I see, too often, is nothing like this. On the whole, I see a collection of people (not even sure it's a majority of muslims) who wish to respect and practice their traditions and cultures and for others to be sensitive to them. Most of the time, I'm okay with it. My experience is, "yes, they stand out in a crowd" but they do me no harm. Talk about people who fake or exaggerate being offended so that they can leverage that into some sort of power or influence? That happens all over.

Have a nice day! :) -- Picture of Mohammad smiling

Re:Patent trolls are nearly the worst (-1, Troll)

terjeber (856226) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281635)

Nokia is not a patent troll in this case, and the only one who want to have the works of others for free is Google. They blatantly violated patents they knew were in place so that the, and only Google in fact, would not have to pay. This has no impact on other entities than Google. Thieves.

Pff, patents (5, Interesting)

progician (2451300) | 1 year,29 days | (#43280667)

This is so boring, really. I really consider today's tech industry just a huge pile of fraudulent investor. All these patents fights are over a software algorithm shows that there's no real innovation here: just plain old incremental releases that are developed and researched completely different entities (after a certain size, R&D division is like almost a different company) have nothing patentable on them, not in the original intention behind the whole idea of patents. This whole patent-wars are completely wasteful and useless, but the corporate lobby prevent any attempt of legislation that aim to eliminate corporate patents over trivial matters, so we stuck with these companies spending millions of dollars on lawyers and patent fights, for whose benefit? Lawyer benefit.

There has to be a point where it becomes so unbearable the whole idea of patents must be abolished and any company who participated in this fight must be also dismantled and assets to be redistributed.

Re:Pff, patents (-1)

terjeber (856226) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281377)

All these patents fights are over a software algorithm shows that there's no real innovation here:

I completely disagree. This shows that there is (amazingly) some innovation in places where before there was none. H.264 encode/decode is a pretty good "algorithm" (it is many). You get a lot of quality for a very, very low band-width price. The fact that it is an (among others) ITU-T job is astonishing. Such organizations are usually hindering progress, not foisting it.

The fact that Google is trying to copy this stuff and make it free for everybody is both bad behavior on part of Google, but it is also basically irrelevant for you and me. We are never going to pay for decoding H.264 online, not even indirectly. If we want to encode H.264 we'll have to buy software to do so, and the software vendor will have paid a license fee and baked it into the price of our product. Thing is, these apps are going to have to support H.264 anyway, so the better (and H.264 is better by a good margin than VP8) encoder is always going to be available to a content producer. Why would he use VP8? There is no gain or loss in selecting VP8 over H.264.

VP8 is pushed by Google for one, and only one reason. So that Google can stand on the shoulders of others and not pay. It's pathetic. If Google was half the companies their deluded employees think it is, they would have been able to come up with a solution that wasn't encumbered by patents. Sadly Google has only done one thing well, and that was a search engine. Everything else is either bought or just not that good, and they simply do not have the talent on staff to do what the ITU-T committee could.

Re:Pff, patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43281979)

Why are you defending patents, shill? Oh, I already answered my own question.

Everyone with a brain already believes that patents shouldn't exist; it's clear that you're missing something important. Fuck you and your defense of patent trolls and government monopolies.

Re:Pff, patents (2)

progician (2451300) | 1 year,29 days | (#43282897)

You don't seem to understand the point here, do you? In the software world it is perfectly common to come with ideas independently from each other, since the problem space is the same. Patents were invented to protect individual inventors against big corporations. But as it stands now, they are just weapons in the hand of big corporations in general.

It is in the interest of all of us, if the way we store and transmit our documents, videos, audio, whathaveyou in completely free formats, no string attached. Apparently, MPEG-LA and Nokia isn't interested in this, otherwise they would completely release their formats, and there would be no need for VP8 at all. They could still make quality hardware based on these algorithms, they can still offer services and software use their respective codecs, and in addition, they would be Teh Innovator.

Also, don't be pretentious. All programmers, all scientist use other people's work without pay for it. Because they work with ideas. An algorithm is an idea, no more. AFAIK, these claims are also seemingly coming to shut a completely free alternative to the current video codecs, as the algorithm was used and published long before Google acquired it. Let's be completely true to the facts here: Google did pay for the company that developed and patented these codecs, and thus Google was entitled to release it under its own patent license, which is to be free. What we see here is that any resemblance of a software could be a legal case for any company on the field, so Nokia wants to make money this way.

Re:Pff, patents (1)

terjeber (856226) | 1 year,29 days | (#43283967)

You don't seem to understand the point here, do you

Yes, I do, you don't.

In the software world it is perfectly common to come with ideas independently from each other

Yes it is. So what. It doesn't apply here. Google simply copied H.264. Really, that's what they did. They haven't even tried to hide it. The stuff in H-264 is to some extent genuine innovation. Google just don't want to pay people for that work. They want to steal it instead.

It is in the interest of all of us, if the way we store and transmit our documents, videos, audio, whathaveyou in completely free formats, no string attached

Why? Because Jesus told you so? If you were correct, where would the TV industry be today? "Sorry, my movies are only watchable on TVs from Sony purchased between 1993 and 2001." Industry standards are there for a reason, so that we can actually share stuff. H.264 is an industry standard, it is not owned by any corporation, it is available for all to use, however, if you make a lot of money off using that standard, then and only then the people who actually did the work of creating said standard, would like a tiny part of your revenue. You know, $0.001 out of every paying customer above 100 000 customers. Per year!

If Google wants to come up with their own standard, that is fine. As long as they don't steal someone else's work and say "This is our new standard", and particularly when they add "and we're not going to support any of the actual standards that are out there", which is what they said when they announced they were dropping H.264 support. H.264 is the broadcast standard. Google wants to lock you into THEIR stuff, stuff they have STOLEN from others. That is thieving at its worst. Remember, Nokia is not asserting this patent over anyone using H.264, ONLY over Google, and for very, very, very good reason. Google is trying hard to fragment the broadcast market. That is idiocy!

All programmers, all scientist use other people's work without pay for it

Yes, indeed. Some stuff is "well known", other stuff is obvious. What I never do however, is sit down with the innovation of another and basically copy it bit for bit and then peddle that software either to make money or for purely malicious purpose. Google is doing that. With one aim in mind only, so that they will cut the money they have to pay to others for YouTube. Google isn't doing this for me or you. Google is doing it so that they can yank H.264 out of the browser (announced) and stop paying royalties for what they do with YouTube. This move on part of Google has ZERO impact on you or me. If you never produce content, you don't care. If you produce content then you have to use software that has already paid for H.264 capabilities, so there are no savings in this for you. As a content producer in it for the money, you will either do H.264 (or MPEG-2) or you will go under. Paying $0.001 per paying subscriber above 100 000 is not going to be an issue for you.

Re:Pff, patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43286285)

You haven't addressed any points. You still think independently discovering an algorithm is stealing and that it deserves a monopoly protection for 20 years. Computing has advanced rapidly. Why should patents last 20 years. Would nobody find these "innovative" algorithms in 20 years?

Also, you assume Google stole the work of others. They have relevant patents. What makes you so sure they aren't owed money? Their recent agreement with MPEG-LA is a huge victory and they represented 10 companies. Nokia is just one and I doubt they have many patents related to video compression. The companies part of MPG-LA can't make a cent off of VP8 aside from anything google gave them.

Why should Google or anybody pay Nokia half a penny when they can pay 0? Also, did it occur to you that licensing fees are cheap because the patents are worthless?

shit.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43280933)

MAY BE /HURTING THE there are some The public eye: already aware, *BSD

Why VP8? (1)

CODiNE (27417) | 1 year,29 days | (#43281113)

From what I understand VP8 was based on the reference code for MPEG4 but modified to avoid all known patented methods. That seems inherently risky. Why not instead invest in SNOW or other wavelet encoding methods and leap ahead of the current MPEG standard?

Re:Why VP8? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43281731)

You can't avoid using "known patented methods" if there are patents like "we patented fire, so that also applies to your sword (which has been forged by using our invention "fire")"...

VP8 was always a con (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43282765)

The original corporate development of the codec that became VP8 used the advantage of closed-source to illegally rip-off intellectual property the company neither owned nor desired to license. When Google was conned into buying the junk, and made the source open, it became fully apparent what a rip-off the codec represented.

Now we all agree that there should NOT be any software patents, but the point is moot. If you are anti-patent, you are free to use any of the incredibly good open-source H264 projects, including x264 (the best encoder in the world- and I mean this), and VLC.

VP8 stinks compared to H264. Not only was it a knock off, but it is a very bad knock-off. For all of you green loonies, using it means expending vastly greater resources (power and storage). As H264 ages, it becomes cheaper in theory and fact, and with full industry support can be driven to a near zero cost as H265 rises to take its place for very HD content.

What possible use is VP8? The only idiots supporting it are those yet to get the memo about the true nature of Google. Google is nastier by far than Microsoft or Apple. So, when Google pushes a VERY inferior solution, there in certainly no moral reason to cut Google some slack. I'd be more concerned about the real reason Google paid so much money to the conmen behind VP8. After all, Google claims they swore the codec was their own design, and didn't infringe relevant patents for video encoding.

interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43285723)

How deliciously ironic that the country who gave us Linus Torvalds and a free software operating system that dominates the industry also brought us Nokia the closed minded company who took VP8 away from us.

Re:interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43285775)

And, Nokia's business used to depend heavily on open source until recently. Talk about not remembering your roots.

Florian Mueller - what happened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43286495)

Please tell me the full story. Wasn't Florian the guy who started (or were deeply involved in) stop software patents. Nowadays he seems to be working for Microsoft or someone, at least according to the focus on his tweets. But.. enlighten me,dear slashdot users. Is he like michael icaza Kind of (I.E. Saying he likes open bla.bla,but really just seems interested to fuck things up)

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