Re: [rtcweb] VP8 IPR agreement announced.

Silvia Pfeiffer <> Thu, 07 March 2013 21:57 UTC

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From: Silvia Pfeiffer <>
Date: Fri, 08 Mar 2013 08:56:55 +1100
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To: Matthew Kaufman <>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] VP8 IPR agreement announced.
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Seriously? Google and MPEG just announced that VP8 is essentially the first
widely agreed non-patent-encumbered codec and your reaction is "an
interesting development" and "process disallows discussion"? It's almost a
week until the meeting, just start preparing for it now.

For everyone else: it is a day of great joy and overwhelming relief that
MPEG and Google have found an arrangement to allow the world to publish and
share video without risk of getting sued over codec patents. I say: rejoice!

(speaking for myself and dare I say: most of humanity who doesn't even
realize what just happened ;-)

On Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 6:32 AM, Matthew Kaufman <> wrote:

>  The below announcement, while an interesting development, comes weeks
> after the traditional deadlines for providing new information to the
> working group prior to an upcoming meeting and certainly does not give me
> enough time to adequately review the development. In fact, the sublicense
> terms referenced below will not be available to review until *after* the
> upcoming meeting and might very well contain language that is incompatible
> with my requirements or those of other implementers of RTCWEB
> specifications.
> Therefore I believe the most sensible action is to once again delay the
> MTI video codec discussion, remove it from the agenda from the upcoming
> meeting, and have the call for an MTI codec at a later time… no sooner than
> several weeks after the relevant license terms are even available to
> review. I hope the chairs concur.
> Alternatively, we can have the discussion at the upcoming meeting, but it
> will not be able to incorporate this development at all, and without any
> change in the IPR situation it was clear that H.264 was the only suitable
> alternative (and may still be the best choice, given the strong arguments
> for the technical merits and implementation advantages of H.264,
> irrespective of the IPR issues).
> Matthew Kaufman
> On 3/7/2013 11:18 AM, Serge Lachapelle wrote:
>  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:
>  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.
>  /Serge
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