I applaud the licensing agreement announced by Google, MPEG-LA, and additional patent-holders. The agreement appears to align with W3C’s Patent Policy which has a goal of assuring that W3C Recommendations can be implemented on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis. Google has also re-iterated its goal to provide the web with a Royalty-Free video codec.
Royalty-Free licensing terms have played an important role in making the Web the premier platform for innovation, and W3C adopted its patent policy to encourage the widest adoption of Web standards. This is the first high-quality video codec we are aware of available on Royalty-Free terms.
Video is huge. In May 2012 Cisco predicted that by 2016, video will be 55 percent of all consumer Internet traffic. Last month they indicated that by 2017, two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video. Given support from developers for using HTML5 to reach diverse platforms, and growing interest from the television, automotive, digital signage, digital publishing, gaming, and other industries, this decision to aim at royalty-free licensing is likely to give VP8 an advantage on the Web.
Royalty-Free video is critical for the Web in general and has recently received attention for WebRTC. In November 2012 the W3C staff conveyed to the IETF that “there should be a royalty-free standard web infrastructure which should include Real Time Communications on the Web.” While W3C does not endorse a particular technology for WebRTC, we are quite pleased that there is finally a Royalty-Free codec to choose from.
Congratulations to all parties involved for increasing the value of the Web for the global community.