Posted by: commonsresource | May 25, 2010

Party On Again? pt. 4 – WebM & patents

While this series of posts is starting to feel like a game of table tennis, I fear that I unnecessarily curbed my party spirits yesterday (although I did enjoy the dog parade celebration on our street last evening). Even though I remain concerned with the MPEG-LA threat to the WebM open source project, I was pleased when TweetDeck flagged Simon Phipp’s WebM Data Points counter-balancing post on his Wild Webmink site earlier today.

After making a mental note that WebM is a slightly modified contraction of Webmink, I went on to look at his collection of links which included Carlo Daffara’s An analysis of WebM and its patent risk post with Simon’s commentary:

Carlo demonstrates that On2 must clearly have analysed the patent context for VP8 since so many of the “sub-optimal choices” called out by H.264 partisans reflect avoidance of patented ideas. This lends weight to Google’s confidence over WebM, as well as highlighting the way software patents hinder innovation (although I recently heard an advocate declare they stimulate innovation by forcing this sort ofworking-around; ridiculous!)
While Carlo’s post is very insightful and very technical (and while I have chosen not to comment on Simon’s software patent point!), I am encouraged by Carlo’s summary that the WebM open standard “should be a worthy competitor. All in all, I suspect that MPEGLA rattling will remain only noise for a long, long time.” At least for now, I consider the party on again!

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