Google to open-source VP8?

Google is on a roll!

Just the other day they decided to throw some money at Theora, and now rumours have it that they are planning to open-source the VP8 codec!

People were wondering what the acquisition of On2 would lead to, and the FSF even asked Google to "free VP8". As you may know, On2 the maker of the VP2 codec, which Theora is based on. If VP8 ends up as open-source and not encumbered by patents thanks to Google, only good can come from that.

I really hope the rumours are true, because the Web needs all the help it can get when battling closed, patent-encumbered technologies like H.264. HTML5 video should be based on free and open technologies, at least as a common baseline.

Google really does know how to shake up existing markets, that's for sure.


9 thoughts on “Google to open-source VP8?

  1. Originally posted by haavard:

    On2 the maker of the VP2 codec, which Theora is based on.

    VP3Originally posted by haavard:

    If VP8 ends up as open-source thanks to Google,

    And royalty free. ;)I hope they'll give it to Xiph.Originally posted by ouzoWTF:

    I think an official statement from Opera saying "We will support VP8"

    … "If it is royalty free"They would be good marketing. I think Opera should do it. 😉

  2. I think an official statement from Opera saying "We will support VP8" or "Of course we will support VP8" would be a good marketing thing for the IT-pages :whistle:

  3. Thinking about how much hatred is between Apple and Google, I can really imagine Google freeing VP8 (and therefore weakening Apple's H.264 position) 🙂

  4. Well, the problem of h.264 and friends is they use patented algorithms, not that there are no open-source implementations. It will be cool if Google opens vp8 but will they "open" their patents too?

  5. h.264 is indeed open source. So if this is true then both h.264 and vp8 would be open source. Now Google needs to obtain rights to all of the patents on vp8 and then free it of those patents. I'm guessing they are in the process of doing just that. Personally I hope they don't give it to Xiph exclusively (and that wouldn't be open source would it?) as they don't have much expertise on video codecs. Or at least if they did give it to Xiph I hope some more knowledgeable people (like Dark Shikari and Pengvado) would join the Xiph development team. Dark Shikari has even said that he would help develop Theora if the codebase wasn't such a mess. I doubt Google would give it up entirely, though; they'd probably just open development while maintaining ownership. They'd have their own versions while the community can make their own ala Chrome/Chromium (or h.264 reference encoder/x264 encoder for that matter).Some commentary from Dark Shikari: Sorry, Haavard, about that first sentence (prior to edit). I didn't intend what I posted before as a personal attack. Goodness knows I've made misinformed statements before without knowing.

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