MPEG-LA Follows Through On Its Promise To Go After Google For Daring To Offer Patent-Free Video
from the we-must-find-some-patents! dept
Right after Google announced that it was “freeing” up its VP8 video codec under the WebM name, in an effort to get away from the heavily patented H.264 standard, MPEG-LA, the private company that manages the H.264 patent pool and has done some patent trolling at times, announced that it was planning to set up a patent pool around VP8 insisting that it simply wasn’t possible that there could be a web video standard that wasn’t patented (and wasn’t paying MPEG-LA, I guess).
That was back in May, and it’s taken until February, but MPEG-LA has officially put out a call for patents that cover VP8. That’s a pretty clear declaration of war. It’s also fairly obnoxious. What sort of organization blatantly says “Company X has released a cool technology to the world, and we’re going to find any and all patents that will destroy that?” What an incredibly anti-innovation stance.
That said, I do wonder why it took so long between announcing the original plans and making this call. Perhaps it’s discovered that it wasn’t quite as easy as they had hoped to find patents that cover VP8. For its part, Google insists it’s committed to fighting to keep V8 patent-free, and hopefully it stands by that commitment.