In January, Google infamously dropped H.264 support in Chrome, so in February, Microsoft kindly offered an H.264 extension for Chrome running on Windows 7. Last month, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 without WebM support, so Google kindly made a WebM extension for IE 9.
With me so far?
As of Monday, the plot has thickened yet again. Google announced the WebM Community Cross-License Initiative, a group of companies that have agreed to share any patents they may have that apply to WebM: "CCL members are joining this effort because they realize that the entire web ecosystem--users, developers, publishers, and device makers--benefits from a high-quality, community developed, open-source media format."
There are many heavyweights in CCL: Google, Matroska and Xiph, Mozilla and Opera, of course, but also AMD, Cisco, Huawei, LG, Logitech, MIPS, Pantech, Quanta, Samsung, ST-Ericsson, TI, and Verisilicon. Amazingly, Cisco, LG, and Samsung already have licenses for H.264 from MPEG-LA.
Two months ago MPEG-LA issued a public call for patents that may apply to WebM, with applications due last week. No word yet on whether the troll for patents netted anything, much less anything substantive. Stay tuned.
This story, "Google gains allies in the war over HTML5 video formats," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.