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Firefox Gains Support for VP9 Video Codec

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2013 @11:35PM (#45647213)

    VP9 is tainted by licensing agreements with MPEG LA. Google could change its licensing scheme at any moment as well.

  • VP9 vs x264 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday December 09, 2013 @11:58PM (#45647357) Journal

    Disclaimer: I am not the author of the following pdf

    http://iphome.hhi.de/marpe/download/Performance_HEVC_VP9_X264_PCS_2013_preprint.pdf [iphome.hhi.de]

    According to the above pdf

    "x264 encoder achieves an average gain of 6.2% in terms of BD-BR savings compared to VP9

  • Re:YouTube (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2013 @11:59PM (#45647369)

    nope, vp9 is based mostly on h264 minus certain areas that fall upon patents which makes it almost as good but worse. In exchange, you don't get into the royalty minefield that was in question for a while back.

    vp9 was great to force mpeg-la hand into making h264 royalty free indefinitely (at least for streaming) but it really serves little purpose now since that hand also served to stifle vp9 growth which is basically based off the premise of a royalty free h264 codec.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @01:20AM (#45647783)

    How exactly is it tainted? Mpeg LA agreed you can use it and not worry about their patents. How is THAT a problem?

    Fyi, no, they can't change the license in a way that creates problems for using the codec. It's called "promissory estoppel". Basically, it means that once they promise to let you use it freely, that stops them from suing anyone.

  • by SeaFox (739806) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @01:53AM (#45647933)

    Well half of the acronyms/abbreviations you just rattled off are container formats and VP8/9 are video codecs, so you're comparing a fruit salad to an apple, so to speak. You mentioned Matroska (MKV) and that very well could contain VP9 video, but I think you're more likely to find VP8/9 in a file ending in .webm as h264/Hi10P are more likely to be packaged in an MKV file.

  • Re:YouTube (Score:4, Informative)

    by roca (43122) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @04:56AM (#45648505) Homepage

    I think you're confusing VP8 with VP9.

  • Re:4 years later (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @05:31AM (#45648629)
  • Re:4 years later (Score:5, Informative)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @06:27AM (#45648783)

    'Securing the rights' is not that simple. In the case of a single corporate vendor, it's just a matter of negotiating payment: Microsoft or Apple hands over the money in return for the appropriate license, no problem. For open-source browsers it's a lot more difficult because there is the issue of project forking and customisation.

    The Mozilla foundation could perhaps negotiate a cut-rate or even free license, yes. That's doable. But then what happens when someone else decides they would like to adapt Firefox? Now they can't, because they don't have permission to use those patented parts. It breaks the open-source development model: The code may be free, but you can't legally do much with it unless the MPEG LA grants permission, and they aren't going to give a free license to every five-employee company, let alone hobbyists and home users, and especially when many users are commercial. Plus that's only for the major browsers - are all the many obscure ones supposed to go begging for a free license and sublicensing (hah!) rights too? The only way out of this would be for the MPEG LA to simply relinquish all patent rights entirely, and that's not going to happen.

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