Strike Against Software Patents for May 1st, 2012

I’m joining public activities on May 1st, 2012, and will be raising awareness on the dangers of software patents.

Over the last four years, I have been involved with development involving video on the web for clients such as Dublab and Future Roots, Inc., Mochilla, VTech Communications, HVW8 Production House, Poobah Records, Phthalo Records and many others. I am one of the few that has been supporting both free and open formats along side patent encumbered and proprietary formats such as H.264. It’s always a burden, and sometimes that burden carries too much of a cost.

There are now two video codecs that are completely supported in free and open Internet web browsers. The Vorbis video codec in the Ogg container and the VP8 codec in the WebM ( Matrouska based ) container. Meanwhile H.264 has been embedded into hardware on mobile devices for acceleration on limited CPU environments and proprietary software supported by economic corporate elites!

There are several players that can help to achieve a consensus on a free and open video standard, however they have yet to uphold their promises:

  • Chrome has yet to drop support for H.264/Mp4, after their statement of their plan to do so, except on Chromium which has always not included it.[4]
  • Flash has still yet to adopt VP8/WebM into their proprietary plugin, after they also made a promise.[5]

While others have announced dropping and adding support:

  • Mozilla announced, with hesitation, they will be supporting H.264/Mp4 in their free software mobile browser by using OS level hardware acceleration.[1][2]
  • Adobe is dropping Flash support on GNU/Linux systems to play H.264/Mp4 in the browser [3]
  • IE9 is supporting WebM if third-party support is installed [8]

Support for WebM is growing and secured against patent trolling:

  • YouTube is transcoding all new videos into WebM [7]
  • Google has acquired many of the patents on VP8 and released them except to those who patent troll them. [6]

Let’s end software patents all together!

References:

  1. http://brendaneich.com/2012/03/video-mobile-and-the-open-web/
  2. http://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2012/03/18/video-user-experience-and-our-mission/
  3. http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2012/02/adobe-and-google-partnering-for-flash-player-on-linux.html
  4. http://blog.chromium.org/2011/01/html-video-codec-support-in-chrome.html
  5. http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplatform/2010/05/adobe_support_for_vp8.html
  6. http://www.webmproject.org/license/additional/
  7. http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2011/04/mmm-mmm-good-youtube-videos-now-served.html
  8. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2011/03/16/html5-video-update-webm-for-ie9.aspx

 

 

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