Filing claims Motorola should be held to Google's license standards
Google has suffered a setback in the next step of its federal case regarding Microsoft's potential abuse of the H.264 video codec. The head of the MPEG-LA licensing group, Lawrence Horn, declared in a court briefing that Google's agreement with the group and monetary restrictions on licensing fees applies to companies it acquired -- meaning Motorola's claim of Microsoft's patent abuse likely won't net the search engine hundreds of millions of dollars per year, as it has requested from Microsoft. Motorola, as a subsidiary of Google, is held to the same licensing standards as originally signed by Google in 2004.
Pooled license simplifies technology dispersal
MPEG LA, which holds patent rights for several technologies including components of MPEG-2, MPEG-4, ATSC, and AVC, is now offering a consolidated license for patents pertaining to MVC (Multiview Video Coding). MVC is the standard for encoding and decoding video that is used in 3D-capable hardware, such as Blu-ray disc players and burners, video cameras, and PCs.
Skype using VP8 even with Microsoft patent gripes
Google had an unusual celebration Wednesday as it claimed that Skype 5.5 was now using the video format behind WebM, VP8. WebM Product Manager John Luther said that that any video chat between two or more users on 5.5 will switch over to VP8 for the stream. The format had been chosen in part because of its low lag in live situations and ability to gracefully handle lost data.
12 groups tell MPEG-LA Google VP8 copies tech
The MPEG-LA video group's attempts to find patent violations in WebM proved successful as the company late Thursday claimed that 12 companies and organizations had their technology infringed. The so far unnamed dozen said the VP8 video codec underlying Google's format copied technology used in H.264, the standard MPEG-LA supports. The collective was considering forming a patent pool to demand licenses, and MPEG-LA was "facilitating that discussion," CNET was told.
Chrome integrates WebRTC for live media
Google is in the early stages of giving Chrome a completely add-on free approach to live audio and video chat, the company's Henrik Andreasson said this weekend. The company plans to integrate the WebRTC protocol first in its open-source Chromium project before rolling it into the regular Chrome browser. The step should give the browser both high- and low-bandwidth audio formats, iSAC and iLBC, as well as use the VP8 codec behind WebM for video.
WebM Community Cross-License guards video patents
The WebM Project took a defensive measure on Monday with the creation of the WebM Community Cross-License. The approach will see 17 companies and groups give licenses to any WebM-related patents they have to other CCL members. Google, Matroska, and Xiph.org form the core but are joined by AMD, Cisco, Huawei, LG, Logitech, MIPS, Mozilla, Opera, Pantech, Quanta, Samsung, STMicro, TI, and Verisilicon.
YouTube starts streaming new videos in WebM
YouTube in an update Tuesday afternoon said it was now encoding all new videos in its in-house WebM standard. The format would let viewers using new versions of Chrome as well as Firefox and Opera see video in HTML5 using the open format. Videos would still be playable in the H.264 format and the original Flash containers.
Conflict centers around Google's free V8 codec
The Department of Justice is reportedly investigating antitrust allegations against codec licensing firm MPEG-LA and its members, which include tech heavyweights Apple and Microsoft. The probe is said to be focusing on possible anticompetitive actions aimed at Google and the search giant's V8 codec, which serves as a free alternative to MPEG LA's standards.
MPEG-LA takes steps to find WebM patent violations
Google's WebM video standard came under renewed threat on Thursday with an MPEG-LA request. The video standards group is asking members for any instances in which a company believes one of the VP8 format patents behind WebM might have violated its patents. It hopes to streamline creating a joint license that it could offer for "essential" patents.
Google yanks H264 in Chrome to force HTML5
Google today said it was dropping support for H.264 video in Chrome's HTML5 component. It acknowledged that the more popular format had an "important role" but hoped it could force adoption of its open but internally-developed WebM format as well as Ogg Theora. The company claimed that opening up the VP8 codec underneath led to major speed improvements as well as widespread adoption.
Format designed to compete with JPEG
Google today said it would introduce a new image format designed to compete directly with current JPEG standards. The format, named WebP and pronounced "weppy," promises to reduce file sizes by 40 percent compared to JPEGs, which could help websites load faster and reduce strain on networks.
MPEG group makes free H264 use permanent
The MPEG-LA video standards group today revised its AVC License to permanently exempt free H.264 and AVC video Internet use from any royalties. It had previously planned to start charging companies for streaming H.264 at the start of 2016 but now will allow free use indefinitely as long as viewers aren't charged. Paid video, as well as corporate use of offline video, will still carry a licensing cost.
YouTube says Flash essential for DRM, scaling
YouTube Software Engineer John Harding today explained that the video site was still closely tied to Flash. While the site is "excited" about HTML5 and is using it for most videos in its optional player and mobile devices, many of the site's features still need Adobe's plugin to work well or to work at all. At a minimum, embedding needs the option as videos otherwise can't port over their ads, annotations or notes.
Google separates WebM patents from copyright
Google today changed the license for its WebM video standard to help shelter users against possible patent lawsuits. It's now been reworded to only deny access to the patents themselves in the event of a lawsuit shutting them down. Previously, the license would have cut off all rights, locking any patent users out of use altogether.
Chrome on all platforms gets Google video codec
Google on Friday began seeding the first developer versions of Chrome with WebM video built-in. The download lets the open codec work for HTML5 video on Linux, Macs and Windows PCs. Other changes include key bug fixes after coming out of sleep and, on Macs, the option of using the Tab key to cycle through only form fields or links.
MPEG-LA making patent pool to fee WebM
The primarily Google-led WebM group will likely still have to pay royalties, the MPEG-LA group's CEO Larry Horn said late Thursday. In spite of Google insisting WebM was patent- and royalty-free, the video standards group is assembling a patent pool that would let it ask for royalties for WebM and other standards. The costs would leave little reason to adopt the standard for HTML5 movies over H.264 and could result in lawsuits against Google, Mozilla, Opera or others who don't pay.
Jobs believes WebM may violate patents
Apple chief Steve Jobs signaled his own doubts about using the new WebM format for HTML5 video. When asked about his thoughts by UK developer Kris Bloe, Jobs simply posted a link to a recent teardown of WebM that challenged not just its features but its legality. WebM's VP8 video codec bears a strong resemblance to H.264 and may violate multiple patents.