Ok, maybe you've a valid point here. And I'll respect it.
Video codecs don't protect anything, they compress digital video. H264 is as (in)secure as WebM.
I've a svn revision from ffmpeg I compiled yesterday afternoon, along with vpx-git and h264-git (13-1-2010), and so far, the performance of the ffmpeg's h264 decoder/encoder still seems much better to me than vp8.
I don't think you tried any recent ffmpeg build including ffvp8. Exact comparisons are hard for it's difficult to find two video samples that could be considered equivalent, but in general terms there are no big differences. The same x264 developer you no doubt took your comments about visual quality from (at least indirectly), could also tell you that "While there [is] no particular reason that [WebM] should be much faster than a good H.264 decoder, it shouldn’t have been that much slower either!". Google's official implementation also got quicker lately (it actually is an ongoing process), and the next (current?) release of libvp8 will focus on encoding speed.
So, why to use an inferior solution if you already have one already proven? In the future, Internet will also stream high quality HD content to your PC, and that future isn't just too far.
As for visual quality, it's not like there's a limit on how good a video can look like, you just throw more bits at it. So yes, WebM is no better than x264 at the same bit rate (although it probably is superior to the worse H264 implementations), but that's not the point. Obviously Google considers the codec to be good enough such as to not care having to deal with the little overhead its use represents over the best H264 implementation in the universe. I'd like to know whether all those people repeating what DS said in his infamous analysis actually did any tests of their own. I know I did, and the codec rocks. Sure it encodes slow, sure it doesn't surpass x264, but it really is good. Actually, if you don't use presets it's quite easy to screw up your x264 encoding and end up with a less-than-optimal size; why is everybody so concerned about this when most of the time the video content found in the web are nothing more than horrible encodings?
If you don't understand me, like the Spanish king said: "Porque no te callas?".
I can't understand you, sorry. I think you're arguing something around the lines of "everybody uses H264, so everybody must use it", or something. Be it as it may, I don't think this battle is lost, and Google people, with all the data they have available regarding browser market share and net usage, apparently agree.
And like I said before, respect others' opinions.
My final answer to this thread: Google for me is almost as _EVIL_ as Apple of Microsoft; the only difference is they are better influencing people to use their things than rivals. And VP8 also doesn't convince me in terms of patents and other things, because it's made by Google, and someday, if they change their minds (like they did with privacy some time ago)... I believe Google is going to start to charge their codec in a way similar to what MPEG-LA is doing with H264 (but that's just my personal opinion).
Finnaly, I'm getting sick this thread is turning into a "flame war".
p.s. If you're going to answer me Google is not _EVIL_ and why I use Google software:
2- ATM, is the best browser I can use on Linux.