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Video codecs: The ugly business behind pretty pictures

InfoWorld - Simon Phipps - Google's settlement with MPEG-LA is a fresh development in a decades-old story of software patents. Will it finally open video codec technology to open source developers?

When Google announced last week it had finally made peace over its VP8 codec with the patent pool MPEG-LA, some declared the company had sold out and was joining the software patent circus. But it's not.

The truth is far more colorful and could presage a big shift in the struggle to control our online viewing and listening habits. As a consequence, powerful interests have quickly stepped in to try to spike VP8's guns before they can be fired.