Berlin, May 19th 2010 — Today Google announced it would make the VP8 codec open source and royalty-free as part of their WebM project. The codec is on par with other video codecs for high video quality and can be used in the emerging HTML5 web standard for playing video content natively in a web browser. HTML5, the VP8 video codec and Vorbis audio codec are open standards and thus require no royalty-bearing patents license.
“The web is based on open standards, a patent-unencumbered world, allowing developers to create applications without patent toll gates”, explains FFII board member Stephan Uhlmann. “We are happy to see Google use its market force to keep the web open.”
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) had called on the company behind the video site Youtube to support a patent free video codec for the upcoming HTML5 technology. The video codec VP8 was acquired by Google together with On2 technologies.
HTML5 will be the next generation of the world wide web, but the standard has been delayed by a clash over streaming video patent licensing conditions. In a controversial move Microsoft and Apple indicated they would support the H.264 video codec only, which is encumbered by more than 1000 patents.
“Support for the VP8 video codec by their popular web browsers Internet Explorer and Safari is only a matter of time”, says FFII board member André Rebentisch. “In the Web openness always prevails”.
FFII call to support open video fromats in HTML5
The WebM project: high-quality, open video format for the web
FFII Open Standards Working Group
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The FFII is a not-for-profit association, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, and open standards. More than 1,000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights in data processing.