VP8 Codec: FSF Encourages Free Video Standard

Feb 22, 2010

In an open letter to Google, the Free Software Foundation suggested that the software giant freely release the VP8 HD video compression format after having acquired the On2 video technology firm.

"Just think what you can achieve," said the Free Software Foundation (FSF) in their letter to Google, "by releasing the VP8 codec under an irrevocable royalty-free license and pushing it out to users on YouTube?" There's more to it than just free release, however. Google now has the opportunity to end the dependency of the Internet on license-based video formats and proprietary players. Everyone from users to video producers and software and hardware developers would have a viable alternative to patents, fees and usage restrictions, the foundation asserts. Pointing to the YouTube video platform, which has been in Google's hands since the fall of 2006, the foundation reminded the Internet giant of its own growth based on free software and suggested, "You have the leverage to make such free formats a global standard."

On2 was behind VP2, released in 2002 and the basis for the Ogg Theora codec. On2 is also the originator of the HD-capable VP6 codec, which has been a part of Adobe's Flash format since 2004. On2 provided this version free for noncommercial use and is a part of the Ffmpeg project's libavcodec library. The new VP8 version came out September, 2008. VP is a competitor to the equally proprietary H.264 HD compression that is part of the MPEG format, whose licensing the MPEG LA organization maintains. Adobe's Flash plugin supports VP6 and H.264. Free software such as Mozilla Firefox can play the free Theora format, but not VP6 or H.264 on account of the licensing.

Google announced the final takeover of On2 February 19, 2010. The Web video technology company is worth about $125 million to the search engine giant. A motivation for the takeover is Google's interest in the Clifton Park, NY company's compression technology, with Adobe among its clients as well. The intent to purchase goes back to August, 2009. On2 stockholders struggled with this at first, as the WSJ reported, filing a damage claim against On2 and its board in Delaware court that the purchase price of $107 million was too low.

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Comments

  • Way to not over react

    Seriously buddy above me, way to not over-react...maybe you should calm down instead of raging so freaking hard?

    Yeah i think you should...
  • VP8 and google

    Theora was initially based on the vp3 codec source, not vp2. I don't know how much similarity the two still have. The problem with VP8, and any wouldbe alternative codec, is that it starts from the starting line and h.264 is many laps ahead. Hardware decoding is absolutely necessary, especially for mobile devices, and a hardware or multithreaded encoder would be needed too. These that time and resources to code. You'd have to think that Google had some kind of plan in place before spending the money to acquire the IP, and they have a history of releasing projects or code in beta form, so it's surprising that there has been no announcement yet.
  • download

    Where the fuck I can finally load this fucking codec down?
    I mean. These faggots talk about this codec since six months, and it's not out yet.
    What the fuck is this`?
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