Video Revolution from W3C: Video Codec Must Be Free…..and Mozilla and Opera are (Nearly) Ready

By on 12/11/2007 9:17 PM @beet_tv

Just as software for putting still images on a web page is free, so should codecs for encoding and decoding video, said Philippe Le Hegaret, Architect Domain Leader at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3) headed by Tim Berners-Lee. 

Video encoding, the essential process in which video is compressed, converted and then decoded for the Web, is patented by entities including Fraunhofer, Futjisu, Sony, The Trustees of Columbia University, Microsoft and Hitachi.

These groups license software, called codecs, to be used in various formats including Flash, WMV, MPEG 4 and Silverlight.  Information on this can be found at MPEG LA.

The W3C advocates a revolutionary idea:  the availability of a royalty-free encoding technology so anyone can create video without having to pay.

An open-source, free codec called Theora, is about to get wide visibility with its emergence on the latest versions of the Mozilla and Opera browsers, where it is in very early Alpha.  PC Week reported on this Friday with a story from Jeremy Kirk.

Theora is an evolved version of an early On2 codec, VP3, which was released by the company for the open source community.  It has been developed by Xiph.

Philippe is not sure that Theora is the answer to royalty-free encoding  as there are complex patent law issues, but it’s an important development, he says. 

In a glimpse of likely patent battles ahead, just this week, Nokia raised objections to W3C’s approach to free codecs.  (Earlier this week Beet’s European Correspondent Mika Hentunen interviewed Nokia’s top intellectual property exec in Helsinki.)

Phillipe was in New York today where he was a speaker at the Web Video Summit. He was on a panel about video search moderated by the Silicon Alley Insider himself Henry Blodget.  Other panelists were Blinkx CEO Suranga Chandratillake and Thomas Wilde, CEO of EveryZing.

Tomorrow at Cisco’s San Jose headquarters, Philippe will co-chair an international panel  on the future of Web video protocol with participants in San Jose and Brussels connected via a video conference hook-up.

Next installment of the interview, Philippe talks about the future of
video on the "semantic Web" and the organization of metadata.  Stay tuned.

– Andy Plesser

You can grab the code of this interview right here.

Recent Videos
image
Millennials Are Cool With Brands Changing All The Time: Initiative/IPG Study

Brands need to mimic the characteristics of millennial-age consumers to curry their favor, according to research, The Reset Generation, conducted by media agency IPG’s Initiative group. “Their expectations of brands are what they think people expect of them,” says Initiative’s US ...

image
If “Content Is King,” then “Distribution is Queen” as Paid Media is Essential,...

Mindshare, the media agency within WPP, has created some 250 branded campaigns for video and television over the past 9 years, says David Lang, Chief Content Officer and President of the agency’s entertainment division,  in this interview with Beet.TV  On the subject of viral video hits and paid vs. ...

image
Hearst is Building a “Netflix Model” Around Magazine Video Content

Hearst has just launched “Cosmo Body,” a daily fitness show which is advertiser-free and is  being offered on a subscription basis.  This is the first of what will be a number of Hearst titles and Hearst partners who will be part of a new “Netflix model,” explains Chris Grasso, SVP ...

image
Yahoo Gets Post-Web Analytics With Flurry: Jun’s Reichgut explains

Yahoo has bought itself a role in the advertising ecosystem that comes after the desktop web by acquiring mobile analytics firm Flurry last week. That’s the assessment of one cross-platform video ad tech vendor CEO. “A media company that was based on the web is now struggling getting in to the ...

image
Razorfish, Google & Videobloggers Drive 6+ Million Video Views for Unilever Haircare Campaign in...

A YouTube program in the U.K., designed by global agency Razorfish for several Unilever haircare brands, has driven more that six million views since its launch  in April, says Pete Stein, Global CEO of the agency in this interview with Beet.TV The program takes the pulse of Google queries on hair and ...

image
The Viral Video Is Not a Business Model

While the viral video hit can be golden for brands, it can’t be done consistently and it’s “not a sustainable business model” says Mitchell Reichgut, CEO and founder of the Jun Group, a digital video ad services firm that secures views for branded content on hundreds of publisher ...

image
TubeMogul Crushes Wall Street with 64% Rise on First Day of Trading

Whether the dramatic increase of the company’s stock price on its initial day of trading, which closed at 11.50, up $4.50 or 64%, can be sustained or not, time will tell.  For TubeMogul co-founder and CEO Brett Wilson, he is focused on “building a big, transformative company,” he told ...

image
Native Video Advertising on Mobile Devices Powers Growth for Jun Group

The dramatic rise of mobile, opt-in video advertising has helped fuel revenue growth for the New York-based adtech firm Jun Group by 120% in 2013 and the company is on pace for that kind of growth this year as well, says CEO Mitchell Reichgut  in this interview with Beet.TV. In the last few years, Jun ...

image
Simulmedia’s Morgan: TV Finally Embracing Ad Tech

Tacoda and Simulmedia founder Dave Morgan is just back from a fun week chewing over the TV ad tech revolution at Cannes Lions with Beet.TV He is interviewed on stage by digital media investment banker Terence Kwaja. In this AdAge article, Morgan concludes channel fragmentation, a desire for accountability ...

image
Comcast Serves up 13 Million Video Streams of World Cup: “TV Everywhere is Ready for its Close-up”

Comcast has provided  13 million video streams of World Cup matches to subscribers watching via digital devices.   That’s up  55% over the number of streams for the Soichi games, the cable giant says. The enormity of the digital consumption represents something of a watershed moment for “TV ...

image
Sling Rolls Out New Box With Added Mobile Features

Echostar-owned Sling Media introduced a new box to deliver pay TV channels to other devices. The “Slingbox M1″ and “SlingTVTM” are designed to be mobile friendly and are slated to retail for $149.99.  Here is the company press release. In the last year, Sling Media has been focusing ...

image
Digital Targeting Enables Consumer Choice in Storytelling, MediaCom’s Savic

CANNES, France — In a digital world, where transparency is the name of the game, brands can’t hide anymore. What works and doesn’t work is apparent every day, says Sasha Savic, CEO of MediaCom USA, during an interview with Beet.TV at Cannes. “We used to love our ideas. Now, it ...

loader