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Google's WebM license could undermine the meaning of 'open source'

Infoworld - As Apple and Adobe sparred over the inclusion of Flash in the iPhone OS, supporters of the emerging HTML5 standard -- including Apple, Google, and Microsoft -- touted the H.264 video codec specified in HTML5 as a reason that Flash is unnecessary. But H.264 is proprietary technology that requires a license for use and redistribution, which effectively means Mozilla can't adopt it for the open source Firefox browser. So Google has come up with WebM, an open and royalty-free media format based on the VP8 video codec.

Problem solved? Not exactly. After examining the software license, open source pundits have questioned whether WebM should be classified as open source software. But the larger question is why Google allowed this debate to occur in the first place and what it means for your organization when evaluating an "open source" product.