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May 19, 2010

The three internet amigos (Google, Mozilla, Opera) try to liberate video from potential H.264 stranglehold

With DSLRs and even compact cameras offering HD-Video, more and more stills-photographers are tempted to experiment with video, not just at a personal level but also creatively and professionally. One of the things that came up and made the internet rounds the last few weeks was discussion spearheaded by OSNews (after, among others, Canon HD-DSLR users brought it up) of how the H.264 codec controlled by MPEG-LA could severely impact creative individuals and lead to a "READ-ONLY culture".

Today "The Google", along with indie internet-darlings Opera and Mozilla have announced the WebM project, that encompasses a royalty-free Flash-free codec that can run with HTML-5 capable software and devices. Tech Crunch summarizes the situation from 10K feet. A more detailed discussion can be found at CNet by Stephen Shankland.

If you are a hard-core geek, you can also read about it at the software-internals level, a technical analysis of the new VP8 video codec by a software developer.

We are big fans of open-source and open-systems, so this is a welcome development. It is ridiculous that a single organization (MPEG-LA) has a potential stranglehold on everyone's videos, starting from the moment you press RECORD on your camera or camcorder.

And now a conspiracy theory: It is obvious that "The Man" is very uncomfortable with how the internet and multimedia enables the free flow of ideas and information, and "The Man" is trying to find ways to limit or at least control what the Average Joe and Joanne can do. (Why did two black helicopters just land in the Starbucks parking lot as I was typing this?) ;-)

(Via Techmeme).

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