[whatwg] Google's use of FFmpeg in Chromium and Chrome

Håkon Wium Lie howcome at opera.com
Mon Jun 8 01:58:37 PDT 2009

Chris DiBona writes:

 > this issue is actually not about submarined patents (more like
 > aircraft carrier patents) or tricky corner cases for the lgpl., but
 > that the internet users prefer more quality in their
 > codecs/megabyte/second.

I'm not so sure. YouTube is very popular despite the fact that its
video clips resemble the transmission from the moon landing in 1969.

And JPEG2000 achieves better pictures/megabyte than JPEG, but internet
users are not calling for it.

Saving a megabyte here and there is less important than having a video
format that is free and open for all to use. Dailymotion.com has
understood this and their recent offerings using <video> and Ogg
Theora is laudable [1]. This was exactly what I've been hoping for,
and arguing for, since the <video> element was proposed [2][3].

[1] http://blog.dailymotion.com/2009/05/27/watch-videowithout-flash/
[2] http://people.opera.com/howcome/2007/video/
[3] http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5545573096553082541

At Google, you have a unique opportunity to be part of this. You have
the video clips, the disks, the processing power, and the talent to
launch a service that will firmly establish <video> and Ogg Theora as
the video solution for the web.

However, it seems that Google doesn't care much for having a free and
open video format. Most of the bits you put out on the web are in
patent-encumbered formats, and this doesn't seem to bother you.
Rather, you promote patent-encumbered formats in your new experimental
service [4].

[4] http://www.youtube.com/html5

The web is based on free and open formats. Google would not have
existed without the web. It will be a terrible tragedy if you tip the
scales in favor of patent-encumbered formats on the web. We expect
higher standards from you.

              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome at opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome

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