Google Adjusts WebM License

When Google announced the initial release of WebM — its collaborative drive to create a new open video format for HTML5 — there was much excitement within the Open Source community. Amid the excitement, however, was concern about the project's licensing, concern that quickly led to calls for change.

On Friday, Google announced that, in response to the community's concerns, a "small change" was made to WebM's license, restoring the "pure BSD nature" of the license as well as GPL compatibility. The change modifies the license's patent clause to reflect the GPL3 and Apache patent clauses, which separate rights to patents from rights to copyright. Under the original license, anyone bringing patent litigation against Google would have surrendered all rights granted by the license — the new language clarifies that only patent rights would be terminated, the same penalty incurred under the GPL3 and Apache licenses.

Google's Open Source Programs Manager Chris DiBona noted that in making the change, the company has avoided creating a new Open Source license, a practice which many consider harmful to Open Source in general. Additionally, Google updated other portions of the license and supporting documentation to clarify the license terms and the rights granted under it.

______________________

Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

WebM

Nathan Moos's picture

Yay!! We really need this to fix the online video problem.

Webinar
One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Webinar
Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix