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Thread: Google's New VP8 Codec SDK Is Better, Faster

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobu View Post
    Yeah, actually I thought it's name was 'ball'. Guess it's time to look into a new pair of glasses. XD
    Heh, ok now I follow.

  2. #12
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    The next VP8 release is mostly focusing on encoding speed.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    I'm guessing it's because the patent trolling was just a pile of FUD.
    As far as I remember, MPEG LA never even claimed that they did have patents covering WebM, just that they were "looking into" creating a WebM patent pool. The only stronger claim I saw came from an x.264 developer who was basically just making an argument from incredulity ("VP8 is simply way too similar to H.264"), while the rest of his post made it pretty obvious that On2 was trying very hard to avoid techniques patented by others.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
    As far as I remember, MPEG LA never even claimed that they did have patents covering WebM, just that they were "looking into" creating a WebM patent pool. The only stronger claim I saw came from an x.264 developer who was basically just making an argument from incredulity ("VP8 is simply way too similar to H.264"), while the rest of his post made it pretty obvious that On2 was trying very hard to avoid techniques patented by others.
    It's not terribly hard to avoid patents that you know about. Every patent controlled by MPEG-LA is documented and those documents (as well as revisions and communications with patent office, etc) is in the public domain.

    The way a patent works is that it's divided up into:
    "The Abstract"
    "Claims"
    "Dependent Claims"

    The abstract is unimportant, other then it can be used to help define terms. The Dependent claims is irrelevant mostly for the purpose of patent avoidance.

    The important part is the claims section.

    In the claim that is were it describes the invention.

    It usually goes something like this (paraphrasing):

    In order to do X you need to do:
    A) step 1
    B) step 2
    C) step 3
    D) step 4

    etc.

    Each item in the claim is important. If you have software that does A, B, D, but not C... then you don't violate the patent. Your free and clear. That's it. People get confused and they read the beginning part of the patent, the abstract, and they get confused and think that that is were the patent is defined. It's not, it's just there so you get a better idea about the point behind the patent. The part that actually defines the patent, the actual part that you would have to fight in court is the claims section.

    So therefore all the Vp8 people really need to do is copy H.264 almost exactly, EXCEPT go through each patent and find a slightly different way to do pretty much the same thing. As long as Vp8 people set out specifically to create a video codec that avoided all of H.264's patents then they could do that relatively easily as long as you had huge gobs of cash to pay for the lawyers and programmers needed. Which given the millions of dollars Google has poured into this....

    It's the _Unknown_ patents that will fuck you. Its' the patents that nobody is licensing and they are just sitting on and waiting around for people to put enough investment in a particular piece of software to then jump out and start suing.

    Vp8 is probably vulnerable to unknown patents.

    But the trick is so are other codecs like H.264.

    As far as MPEG-LA goes they are probably toothless. They will go after companies for licensing fees, but they will be very careful to only go after ones that will pay without a fight.

    You see MPEG-LA cannot risk going to court... no matter what.

    Could you imagine MPEG-LA trying to sue Google or other major player and end up LOSING?

    It would utterly destroy them. It would prove that nobody has to pay them a single dime to get H.264-like performance.... they just have to switching to Vp8 instead.

    MPEG-LA will continue to make noise, but it's just all barking at this point with no real teeth to back it up.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    The only way someone can PROVE there's no patent infringement is in a court of law.
    No, it's called "patent research", and every company does either before they start developing something, or before they publish it.

    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    Obviously Google wouldn't release Webm if they thought it was a patent liability
    Google is ALWAYS acting quite naive on the patent front. That's why they're being sued by Oracle over Dalvik now. A whole patent war has started around Android.

    Nowadays it is extremely hard to develop a high-tech product which does not infringe any patents. Every major company lost at least one patent suit against somebody because they forgot/overlooked a patent. WebM is so similar to H.264, it is simply not possible that it does not infringe a whole bunch of MPEGLA patents. The FFMPEG guys showed us those similarities months ago, and Google never responded.

    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    On the licencing side Webm is of course 100% better than h264 since Google gives everyone a worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free patent license to use Webm.
    Google could only give you that kind of license if they actually owned the patents, or settled an agreement with all parties owning patents.

    The MPEGLA is IMO just keeping quiet for two reasons: They need some competition to win the monopoly law suit against Nero (how could you be a monopoly if there is another good video codec offered free of charge?), and as soon as that is over and WebM has gained some ground the patent suits will start going. Just like AMD is Intels protection against a monopoly lawsuit.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by drag View Post
    So therefore all the Vp8 people really need to do is copy H.264 almost exactly, EXCEPT go through each patent and find a slightly different way to do pretty much the same thing.
    A good patent lawyer will word your application in a way so it covers as many uses as possible. For example: Gemalto is currently suing Google, HTC, Motorola etc. over a patent which essentialy describes how to "run software developed in a high-level language on a resource-constrained device". This essentialy covers any kind of virtual machine on an embedded device. How do you avoid such a thing?

    The US patent law has allowed such patents for decades.

    Quote Originally Posted by drag View Post
    Vp8 is probably vulnerable to unknown patents.

    But the trick is so are other codecs like H.264.
    The difference is: Most companies which could hold patents on H.264 are already members of the MPEGLA, and they carefully designed H.264 around the patents their members could provide. The chance of unknown patents is low.

    VP8 was never even properly analyzed, and Google just pretends there are no patent infringements. Which is simply not possible, judging from the similarities to H.264.


    Quote Originally Posted by drag View Post
    As far as MPEG-LA goes they are probably toothless. They will go after companies for licensing fees, but they will be very careful to only go after ones that will pay without a fight.

    You see MPEG-LA cannot risk going to court... no matter what.

    Could you imagine MPEG-LA trying to sue Google or other major player and end up LOSING?
    Err, sure. They even went after one of their own, Alcatel-Lucent - and won.

    The MPEGLA holds so many patents on basic video encoding technologies, a codec as similar to H.264 as WebM simply HAS to infringe at least a couple of MPEGLA patents. I certainly won't encode anything into WebM as long as Google does not provide proper patent research.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sturmflut View Post
    The MPEGLA holds so many patents on basic video encoding technologies, a codec as similar to H.264 as WebM simply HAS to infringe at least a couple of MPEGLA patents. I certainly won't encode anything into WebM as long as Google does not provide proper patent research.
    I'm so glad that on this part of the planet, the software patent nonsense is not legal. Imagine that -- you can encode your stuff however the hell you want.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturmflut View Post
    No, it's called "patent research", and every company does either before they start developing something, or before they publish it.
    Just because someone has been granted a patent does not mean that it will be UPHELD IN LAW. That is were a court comes in, please just look it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by sturmflut View Post
    Google is ALWAYS acting quite naive on the patent front. That's why they're being sued by Oracle over Dalvik now. A whole patent war has started around Android.
    Because someone is being sued doesn't mean they are being naive, are Microsoft naive? Apple? They are all being sued, so what's your point? Also, while Oracle mentioned patents when they first started sueing, now it seems to be about copyright violation.

    Quote Originally Posted by sturmflut View Post
    WebM is so similar to H.264, it is simply not possible that it does not infringe a whole bunch of MPEGLA patents. The FFMPEG guys showed us those similarities months ago, and Google never responded.
    Noone knows who holds the patents on those 'similarities', since ON2 which is the company Google bought has lots of patents on video encoding and they existed before MPEGLA there's no reason to think these patents belong to MPEGLA (if these techniques are even patented at all). You of course draw those conclusions because you want to, same as the original x264 author you were referring to did), despite him claiming that he had no idea if the techniques were patented or not or by whom because he by his own accord don't give a crap about patents.

    Quote Originally Posted by sturmflut View Post
    Google could only give you that kind of license if they actually owned the patents, or settled an agreement with all parties owning patents.
    They're obviously certain that they are not violating anyone else's patents, if they are or not can AGAIN only be decided in a court of LAW.

    Quote Originally Posted by sturmflut View Post
    The MPEGLA is IMO just keeping quiet for two reasons: They need some competition to win the monopoly law suit against Nero (how could you be a monopoly if there is another good video codec offered free of charge?), and as soon as that is over and WebM has gained some ground the patent suits will start going. Just like AMD is Intels protection against a monopoly lawsuit.
    I think this is just wishful thinking on your part, future will tell.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturmflut View Post
    VP8 was never even properly analyzed, and Google just pretends there are no patent infringements.
    Proof? I think it's safe to assume that VP8 was properly analyzed, it's no surprise that Google wouldn't publish those results in detail though. They simply report the results they concluded.
    Which is simply not possible, judging from the similarities to H.264.
    You really don't understand how patents work. I know you think you do, but you don't.

    Err, sure. They even went after one of their own, Alcatel-Lucent - and won.
    I absolutely agree that the MPEG-LA will go after Google if they think they can. The fact that they haven't should tell you something.

    The MPEGLA holds so many patents on basic video encoding technologies, a codec as similar to H.264 as WebM simply HAS to infringe at least a couple of MPEGLA patents.
    Again, where's your proof? Point me to a patent that VP8 infringes on, or everyone is going to continue to think you're just spreading FUD. Seriously, if they hold so many patents on basic video encoding, it should be easy to point out one of them that VP8 violates. Right?

    I certainly won't encode anything into WebM as long as Google does not provide proper patent research.
    Again, you assert that Google hasn't done something that they clearly have. But obviously you have every right to use whatever codec you think is best.

  10. #20
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    Some people seem to be so concerned about h264 having patents that VP8 infringes on. Is it also not possible that VP8 has patents that h264 infringes on?

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