[rtcweb] VP8 IPR agreement announced.

Serge Lachapelle <sergel@webrtc.org> Thu, 07 March 2013 19:19 UTC

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From: Serge Lachapelle <sergel@webrtc.org>
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2013 20:18:45 +0100
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Subject: [rtcweb] VP8 IPR agreement announced.
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Hello,

Today, Google Inc. and MPEG LA, LLC have announced that they have entered
into an agreement granting Google a license to techniques, if any, that may
be essential to VP8. Furthermore, MPEG LA has agreed to discontinue efforts
to form a patent pool around VP8.

The official press release can be found here: http://goo.gl/F7xUu

The licensors are part of the group that responded to MPEG LA’s call for
patents. They are a group of well-known video IP holders and participants
in standards-based video patent pools.

This agreement allows for Google to sublicense the techniques to any user
of VP8, whether the VP8 implementation is by Google or another entity; this
means that users can develop independent implementations of VP8 and still
enjoy coverage under the sublicenses.

Google intends to license the techniques under terms that are in line with
the W3C’s definition of a Royalty Free License. This definition can be
found here: http://www.w3.org/2001/07/SVG10-IPR-statements  We anticipate
having the sublicense ready in the next few weeks. The terms will appear on
the WebM Project website at http://webmproject.org

This agreement is not an acknowledgment that the licensed techniques read
on VP8. The purpose of this agreement is meant to provide further and
stronger reassurance to implementors of VP8.

On a personal note, I think you will all agree that the RTCWeb MTI video
codec discussion included many whispered doubts but little evidence. In
contrast, we have taken clear steps to demonstrate the viability of VP8:

1. Made VP8 available with a strong, simple software license and patent
grant.
2. Continued to innovate and improve VP8 in the open.
3. Licensed a royalty free VP8 enabled RTL (aka hardware source code) to
more than 50 SOCs.
4. Built, iterated and launched VP8 powered WebRTC in the Chrome browser to
hundreds of millions of users.
5. Worked to ensure WebRTC interop using the VP8 and Opus formats by
working closely with Firefox.
6. Introduced a preview of VP8 and Opus based WebRTC in Chrome for Android
beta.

And now, we have taken taken two significant steps that we hope will make
the situation clear to all:

7. Submitted VP8 to ISO SC29/WG11 (MPEG) in January of this year for
standardization.
8. Invested a significant amount of time and resources into reaching an
agreement with the MPEG LA, to provide further reassurances.

VP8 is a royalty free, open sourced codec that offers several advantages
and innovations for real time and other uses.  It has a publicly-available
specification that is getting broadly adopted in hardware; it has been
submitted for standardization to a leading standards body, and is the
subject of a royalty-free RAND license which will now include a license
covering any essential VP8 techniques that may be relevant to major IP
holders who responded to the MPEG LA's call for VP8 patents.

It is the most suitable codec for MTI.

I understand the timing is very close to the Orlando IETF meeting.  While
we tried to do this as quickly as possible, I am sure you will appreciate
the sensitivities and enormous effort involved in reaching such an
agreement.

I will be in Orlando, arriving monday evening and will be available to
answer questions.

/Serge