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Release Management : Article

Google Rallies WebM Alliance to Fight Patent Threats

Under this collaboration, group members will license WebM-related patents to each other under royalty-free terms

Google has formed a new group called WebM Community Cross License initiative in order to protect its WebM video codec from patent attacks. Under this collaboration, group members will license WebM-related patents to each other under royalty-free terms. So far sixteen companies are involved in this launch including AMD, Cisco, LG and Samsung, browser makers Opera and Mozilla. This move on part of Google is certainly a defensive one to protect WebM’s reputation as a royalty free and open codec considering that MPEG LA , the patent pool organization which handles licensing for the H.264 video codec has reportedly been inspecting a similar patent-pool license for VP8 and WebM.

The WebM project was announced by Google in 2009 when it open sourced video codec VP8 , the technology that it procured from its acquisition of On2 Technologies. It is an alternative method of web video delivery to the patent-encumbered H.264 codec (supported by Apple and Microsoft) and Adobe Flash .The WebM codec to date works with Firefox 4, Opera, Chrome and Internet Explorer 9. In an attempt to promote WebM further, Google is dropping H.264 support from its Chrome browser and has begun converting videos on YouTube to the WebM format .

More Stories By Lavenya Dilip

Lavenya Dilip was responsible for Marketing at Green Rack Systems.

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