Last night Google appears to have ended its silence about its willingness to standardize VP8 and WebM.
Cnet has updated a news article, “Mozilla trying to build VP8 into HTML5 video“, with Google’s response:
“We’re excited by the community’s response to the WebM project, and we support efforts to standardize the technology,” Google said in a statement.
Updated 10:28 p.m. PDT with Google comment.
Perhaps not the most ringing endorsement of standardization, but with the W3C’s Philippe Le Hegaret pointing out in the same article that “[t]o be seriously considered by the W3C HTML Working Group, the specification would need to go through a standards group”, it must have been increasingly difficult to remain silent (or hope to arm-twist Android partners into shouldering the patent risk).
Le Hegaret’s full statement points to potential responsible next steps on the standardization path:
“WebM/VP8 has the potential of providing a solution for the baseline video format of HTML5. To be seriously considered by the W3C HTML Working Group, the specification would need to go through a standards group and be developed under RF [royalty-free] licensing participation terms,” Philippe Le Hegaret, leader of Web video work at the W3C, said in a statement. “W3C remains interested in having a video format for HTML5 that is compatible with the W3C Royalty-Free Patent Policy.”
As I have argued, standardization in a royalty free process is the right path for open video.
UPDATE (Dept. of Beware of Non-Ringing Endorsements)
The Register’s Cade Metz followed up with Mozilla to clarify their advocacy of including VP8 in HTML5:
Though Cnet says that Mozilla is working to incorporate VP8 into HTML5, the organization tells us that John Lilly was “discussing the ideal scenario for VP8, not what Mozilla is currently doing.”