Re: [rtcweb] VP8 IPR agreement announced.

Bo Burman <> Fri, 08 March 2013 23:03 UTC

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From: Bo Burman <>
To: Serge Lachapelle <>, "" <>
Thread-Topic: [rtcweb] VP8 IPR agreement announced.
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Date: Fri, 08 Mar 2013 23:03:26 +0000
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] VP8 IPR agreement announced.
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Hi Serge,

This is indeed interesting, but I anyway have a couple of follow up questions, in addition to the ones listed by Stephan below:

  *   Who among the ones in the group that responded to the MPEG-LA call are not part of the deal? Why? What will the implications be for implementing or shipping?
  *   How will Google act if (when) other IPR holders approach people implementing/shipping VP8 devices, or approaches MPEG-LA? Will Google extend the deal to cover these IPRs as well, and sub-license on the same terms as outlined below?


From: [] On Behalf Of Stephan Wenger
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2013 9:14 PM
To: Serge Lachapelle;
Subject: Re: [rtcweb] VP8 IPR agreement announced.

Hi Serge,

This is a great development for VP8.  Congratulations.  I'm sure it took a few cycles and dollars to get something like this arranged.  I wish your PR would have come out a bit earlier, but licensing discussions do take time...  So better now than never.

I want to ask two more pieces of information that would allow me to put this announcement into context.

First, who are those 11 rightholders?  I'm sure you agree that, in order to make a meaningful risk assessment, that information is needed.

Second, the link provided to "preview" the possible sublicensing terms ( lists a bunch of company statements that vary widely among the rightholders listed there, which do not include google.  It would be great if you could provide more specific information as early as possible, especially with respect to the essential claims definition and the reciprocity conditions.  That does not have to be final legal text, but should be a clear indication of your business intentions.  To me, term-sheet level is OK.

Please understand that without that information (especially the first item-on the second I at least would be willing to trust your good intentions in combination with written statements already one file), it will be very hard to take a position based on an informed position.


From: Serge Lachapelle <<>>
Date: Thursday, 7 March, 2013 11:18
To: "<>" <<>>
Subject: [rtcweb] VP8 IPR agreement announced.


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:

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:  We anticipate having the sublicense ready in the next few weeks. The terms will appear on the WebM Project website at

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.