For years we were told by Mozilla and the like that they won’t ship MPEG codecs, because they are patented. At the same time they refuse to support the patent-free but high-quality Dirac codec (developed by the BBC using techniques whose patents expired – Xiph used the same method when designing Vorbis).
Then one day Google shows up and releases the sources to a codec that’s merely a derivate of the patented MPEG-4 AVC Baseline codec. Suddenly all hell breaks loose, Mozilla immediately supports the new (possibly patented) codec.
This raises various questions:
- Why does Mozilla refuse to use Dirac since years but adopts WebM / VP8 immediately?
- Why did Mozilla refuse to adopt the Matroska container until Google blessed it?
- Why is Google’s word on VP8’s patent situation just being taken as truth without an independent patent review?
(After all, Android is covered by patents from Microsoft and possibly Apple’s as well.)
I suspect that since Mozilla (and Opera as well) gets many million dollars per year from Google for being the default search provider, questions about WebM are not asked. I think Mozilla mainly wants to please its
pimp main sponsor to get the money.
Luckily KDE is not part of the discussion (I merely state my opinion as an individual). Konqueror simply uses Phonon to play back HTML5 videos, hence the video can be in whatever format as long as a compatible Phonon back-end is used – WebM, Dirac, AVC,…