Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and others join to create royalty-free video codecs for all

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This initial project will create a new, open royalty-free video codec specification based on the contributions of members, along with binding specifications for media format, content encryption and adaptive streaming, thereby creating opportunities for next-generation media experiences.

And there’s your broken DRM. Sorry, I just can’t support another DRM codec.


Yeah, they can call it ‘open’ all they like but DRM ain’t open.


Don’t we already have a dozen free and open codecs? I can’t even… I mean hypothetically, if somebody were to download Japanese porn, it seems like each file has its own damn codec. Isn’t there an XKCD about this? The codec I mean.

Found it.


I am sure you could list a dozen that technically exist, but how many of those got any kind of traction in the real world? There are VP8 and VP9. Those have mostly replaced Theora. Other than that, what has any kind of relevance?


The great thing about standards is that there are so many you can choose from.


Correct me if I’m wrong but I remember WAAAAAY back being at a locally hosted Apple promotional event for Final Cut Pro (2 or 3 I think?) and the Apple Rep was proudly announcing that Apple’s suggestion for the Blu-Ray/AVC of H264 codec was being accepted.

Flash forward:
Steve Jobs was asked about including Blu-Ray in Macs at some event and he said he looked into doing it (and may have even mentioned their involvement with the codec) and said they wouldn’t because licensing was “a bag of pain and hurt”

So yeah, DRM and licensing was yet another factor in killing a disc format they were trying to keep alive.


XviD? I still have a big pile of anime from the early 00s that is encoded in XviD… But that codec’s time in the sun has come and gone.

ETA: I just now learned that it’s now properly Xvid, I have no idea why the changed the name. But it’s still a GPL licensed codec fwiw. Definitely usable for anime and cartoons as long as you play with the quantization matrix and make sure to turn on QPEL, 3-point GMC and “cartoon mode”.


Fact of life. Corporations don’t want you pirating their stuff.

You don’t have to use this format at all. But Netflix needs encryption. Google and Amazon and probably Apple needs it, or they can’t make Streaming deals.


I’m pretty sure VLC plays Xvids just fine.

My bugbear once upon a time was Indeo.


DRM is a job for the containers around the codec, not the codec itself.

It’s about time we have a widely used free codec, instead of everybody having to pay royalties to somebody who owns some bit of the codec, or some patent pool that owns lots of different bits of your codecs, so every phone or camera chip or whatever that touches the pictures YOU took turns them into somebody else’s intellectual property.


Say what?

Technically, you’re legally obligated to license most codecs if you’re going to distribute audio/video encoded with them. Like H.264. Technically, you’re supposed to pay some group of assholes if you want to encode your footage of a wedding and hand it out on DVDs to the attendees and stuff. Because software patents are kinda awful and ought to be only copyrighted, except copyright has been perverted into a horrific puppet of what it was originally intended to be.


With H.264, only if you charge for it, from what I’ve read. And if you’re charging your wedding guests, well, you deserve it :slight_smile:

Also, even if you have to license the codec, it doesn’t make your video or photos someone else’s IP.

What if you’re the pro photographer? Is it fair that literally all the default video formats a camera outputs requires royalties?

To your second point, of course it means your videos are at best shared IP. If you can’t legally decode your own videos in order to watch or edit them without paying someone else for the privilege, in what sense do you maintain exclusive ownership?

I’ll agree with shared IP.

That wasn’t the example you gave:

Well, I at least inferred ‘for free’ from that.

Is it fair that he had to buy the camera? Pay for Photoshop?

Conceded, but valid in it’s own right as a question.

We can pick and choose how we divide down the field. Is it fair to pay for a camera? Probably yes, the materials and manufacturing expertise cost money on their own… But you can always build a camera yourself. That’s at least an alternative. You don’t have to pay money for decent alternatives to photoshop, GIMP for instance. It requires more work on the consumer end, but it’s still a valid way to process photos. But when you’re handed a blob of data you’re legally restricted from even figuring out yourself, that’s fucking wrong, and I won’t have any of that.


True, it is free on the copyright side of things. However it is covered by patents and if those apply to you, then you are responsible for obtaining licenses, wink wink, nudge nudge. As a private end user you can fly under the radar, but something like that is not the answer because you can’t build a serious open infrastructure around it.


This seems to be more a free beer operation than a free Tibet thing

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Tibet is far away. Beer is here.