CIsco has decided to pay MPEG LA licensing fees for EVERYONE! Cisco has decided to pay the MPEG LA licensing cap fee and will be open sourcing, as well as providing free binary blobs to browser providers, for H.264 in order to push it's adoption in WebRTC. [more inside]
Google and MPEG LA come to an Agreement, putting to rest (for the most part in the current patent atmosphere) fears that VP8 isn't really royalty free.
We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies. - Google's Chrome is will be joining Firefox in no longer licensing the MPEG-LA H.264 video codec favoured by Apple and Microsoft for use in the HTML5 <video> tag (previously). Not everyone is seeing this as a good thing.
As rumored and requested, Google has released VP8 as a royalty free video codec, complete with patent license. Add in Vorbis for audio and Matroska as the container format, and you have WebM, soon to be supported in Chrome, Firefox and Opera. YouTube support is already here. [more inside]
The <video tag>, as defined by the HTML5 spec, is an element "used for playing videos or movies". Which codec those videos or movies are in is currently undefined, with the two contenders being the free open source Ogg Theora and the proprietary H.264. With the unveiling of Internet Explorer 9 both Microsoft and Apple are supporting H.264 in their browsers, and comparisons of the standards seem to bear out H.264 as the better of the two. However Mozilla have taken a stance against incorporating H264 into Firefox on the grounds that it is patented and has to be licensed. Arguments are now being made for and against Mozilla sticking to its ideals. John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out that Firefox already supports proprietary formats such as GIF. Um, perhaps not the best example.