Apparently the MPEG-LA forum, which manages a pool of patents relating to H.264, thinks that any implementation of video will be encompassed by one or more patents from its patent pool. Not only does this reek of megalomania, but it also shows just how far gone the US patent system had gone down hill. It also shows how monopolistic the MPEG-LA forum is.
Nero has come out fighting detailing a host of issues with MPEG-LA and it’s practices. Google has released the VP8 codec as an open source, royalty-free competitor to H.264 ( as part of the new WebM initiative ) and if it gains traction in it’s Youtube system, then many may flock to Google’s banner. Firefox and Opera have support for WebM in their latest test browsers and Microsoft has indicated they will support playback in IE 9 if suitable software is installed on the machine.
The question to ask is just how real is MEPG-LA’s threats against VP8. I think we’ll see a battle royal in the next few months, with the money-printing MPEG-LA trying to hold on to their little corner of gold.