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Google Submits VP8 Draft To the IETF 156

An anonymous reader writes "Google has submitted an Internet Draft covering the bitstream format and decoding of VP8 video to the Internet Engineering Task Force. CNET's Stephen Shankland writes, 'Google representatives published the "VP8 Data Format and Decoding Guide" at the IETF earlier this month, but that doesn't signal standardization, the company said in a statement. The document details the VP8 bitstream — the actual sequence of bytes into which video is encoded. "We submitted the VP8 bitstream reference as an IETF Independent RFC [request for comments] to create a canonical public reference for the document," Google said. "This is independent from a standards track." The IETF document could help allay one concern VP8 critics have raised: that VP8 is defined not by documentation of the bitstream but rather by the source code of the software Google released to implement VP8. But the IETF document still plays a subordinate role to that source code.'"
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Google Submits VP8 Draft To the IETF

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  • by multipartmixed ( 163409 ) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @10:35AM (#34964758) Homepage

    Well, you know, as long as it's not terrible code.

    Once upon a time, the RFC for IP and the BSD code base (that *everyone*) used differed in some subtle way. W. Richards Stevens was the first guy to notice, years after both were written.

    Guess what happened? They changed the standard.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Saturday January 22, 2011 @11:35AM (#34965092) Homepage Journal

    If microsoft was doing what google is attempting to do we would all be screaming bloody murder

    Google produces open source, makes Linux software, and gives away free web services and doesn't care if you block ads, which would be trivial to detect and act upon when you're talking about the architecture of google. Microsoft has been convicted of abuse of their monopoly position. It is utterly unreasonable to treat google the same as convicted criminal Microsoft.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @03:32PM (#34966784) Journal

    Also, Sun took years to open source Java, yet Google open sourced VP8 in months, indicating to me that Google was sloppy and didn't do their due diligence.

    Do you have any idea how meaningless that comparison is? The problem with open sourcing Java was that some parts were owned by Sun, some were licensed from third parties, and the licensed parts had to be either relicensed or replaced. In contrast, On2 was already shipping VP8 and had been working on it - specifically working around patents to produce it - since before Google bought them.

    It's also worth pointing out that, not only are you comparing completely unrelated things, you are comparing completely unrelated sizes of things. The Java code is a couple of orders of magnitude bigger than the VP8 code.

    MPEG-LA indemnifies users for the patents they own, not for patents outside their patent pool, which is way more than Google is offering to do.

    Uh, what? You don't actually know the difference between indemnifying and licensing, do you? MPEG-LA and Google both offer licenses to their patents. MPEG-LA has a complex fee scale, Google provides you with 'a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable' (quoted from the patent license itself) to all of the patents that they own, or will acquire in the future, related to VP8.

    Neither indemnifies you against damages from infringing on third-party patents.

    More hoops to jump through.

    Yes, shockingly, you actually do need to write some code to support new features. Not much (the libavcodec implementation is about 1,400 lines of code, reusing existing decoder building blocks), but slightly more than none.

    I'm going to get modded down as a troll again for saying this (even though every one of my posts on this topic has been sincere, and labelled "troll" by reactionary Slashdotters), but Google doesn't own any of the content outside of users' home videos. The RIAA, MPAA, and gave studios produce most of the content that people are interested in, and that comprises more than 10 minute clips, and they're not going to re-encode in WebM. Even Apple couldn't bring those companies to their knees so what makes you think Google will?

    You've not visited YouTube recently, have you? They stream TV shows [] and movies [] (most of them only in the USA, currently), with the consent and cooperation of the studios that own them. Google provides all of the infrastructure for this, including the choice of format.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."