Re: [rtcweb] Google VP8 Patent Grant for third parties [Was Re:Proposal for H.263 baseline codec]

Basil Mohamed Gohar <basilgohar@librevideo.org> Wed, 04 April 2012 04:25 UTC

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Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2012 00:24:58 -0400
From: Basil Mohamed Gohar <basilgohar@librevideo.org>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Google VP8 Patent Grant for third parties [Was Re:Proposal for H.263 baseline codec]
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While it would be great if such a thing were possible, even the MPEG-LA 
does not indemnify users of H.264 from any IPR claims.  Expecting Google 
to do so is unreasonable.  Moreover, there are other practical issues 
such as NDAs that patent litigation frequently invokes that would still 
allow someone to be sued even if Google did offer indemnification.

The strongest thing Google can do, I think, is what they already do in 
relation to nullifying all grants to their patents that cover VP8 should 
someone engage in a lawsuit against Google.  The software patent 
landscape, sadly, does not leave many more options on the table.  
Perhaps someone more familiar with patent law can expand and/or correct 
what I've said.

It should go without saying that IANAL.

-- 
Libre Video
http://librevideo.org


On 04/03/2012 10:45 PM, Paul E. Jones wrote:
>
> Will Google indemnify all implementers against any IPR claims?  Do 
> that, and I think the debate would be over.
>
> Paul
>
> *From:*rtcweb-bounces@ietf.org [mailto:rtcweb-bounces@ietf.org] *On 
> Behalf Of *Serge Lachapelle
> *Sent:* Tuesday, April 03, 2012 1:55 PM
> *To:* rtcweb@ietf.org
> *Subject:* [rtcweb] Google VP8 Patent Grant for third parties [Was 
> Re:Proposal for H.263 baseline codec]
>
> [Forking the thread]
>
> Hello folks,
>
>
> Google confirms that the VP8 patent grant applies to both third-party 
> hardware and software implementations of VP8.
>
> Google encourages the community to create hardware implementations of 
> VP8, and has recently blogged about a number of new hardware 
> implementations on the WebM blog ( 
> http://blog.webmproject.org/2012/03/webm-gaining-momentum-in-hardware.html 
> ).
>
> Google is quite proud of what the community has done with VP8 and 
> looks forward to seeing more implementations of VP8 in both hardware 
> and software.
>
> Regards,
>
> /Serge Lachapelle, Google, Stockholm
>
> On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 16:53, Stephan Wenger <stewe@stewe.org 
> <mailto:stewe@stewe.org>> wrote:
>
>
>
> On 3.29.2012 16:24 , "Basil Mohamed Gohar" <basilgohar@librevideo.org 
> <mailto:basilgohar@librevideo.org>>
> wrote:
>
>
> >On 03/29/2012 10:20 AM, Stephan Wenger wrote:
> >> The second part of your sentence may or may not be true, depending on
> >>your
> >> relationship with google, your willingness to use the webm
> >>implementation
> >> in unchanged form, and other factors.  Please see the webm license
> >> conditions, which AFAIK can be found here:
> >> http://www.webmproject.org/license/additional/
> >Correct.  I think you are referring to this part, explicitly:
> >> If you or your agent or exclusive licensee institute or order or agree
> >> to the institution of patent litigation against any entity (including
> >> a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that this
> >> implementation of VP8 or any code incorporated within this
> >> implementation of VP8 constitutes direct or contributory patent
> >> infringement, or inducement of patent infringement, then any patent
> >> rights granted to you under this License for this implementation of
> >> VP8 shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.
> >Perhaps I assumed that that is a very reasonable part of the license.
> >That is, if you are suing someone alleging a patent infringement within
> >VP8, you are no longer granted the license to use VP8's patented
> >technologies that Google owns.
>
> Yes, that's one issue.  Call it personal preference for different type of
> reciprocity conditions :-)  (I could rant about it for hours, but let's
> continue to pretend that this is mostly a technical mailing list)
>
> The other issue, though (the fact that the license grant extends only to
> the VP8 implementation as provided by google, and does not extent to
> derivative works such as hardware implementations) should be moderately
> alarming even for an open source person.  With respect to this clause, I
> will note that I criticized the licensing conditions in private and in
> public (IETF mike) several times, months ago, and nothing happened.
> Suggests to me one of three things: (1) google is a large company and
> decisions take time, or (2) google's legal is currently occupied with
> other stuff, or (3) that the choice of language is intentional, and
> intended to prevent forks.  Take your pick.
> Stephan
>
>