Tech companies unite to create royalty-free video codec

2 Sep 2015

To better protect creators of future online videos, some of Silicon Valley’s largest tech companies have banded together to create a royalty-free video format called the Alliance for Open Media (AOM).

In essence, the creation of a single royalty-free video online format will help content creators upload a video online without any restrictions or permissions, while being able to upload it to any platform without fear of the content not being optimised.

The companies signed up to the AOM are some of the biggest hitters out there, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Cisco, Intel and Mozilla, many of which have been working on their own royalty-free formats.

Now, however, the companies have united to share their technology, including Google’s VP8 and VP9 as well as Mozilla’s Daala project, according to Tech Crunch.

According to the AOM’s opening message, the new format will need to be scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth, designed with a low computational footprint and optimised for hardware and flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.

This will allow current providers of streaming content like Netflix and Amazon to encrypt their content, which is essential given their contracts with production companies that agree to give licensing agreements to such services.

“The AOM provides a truly multi-stakeholder venue to openly review intellectual property for the creation of a world-class, royalty-free video codec,” said David Bryant, VP of platform engineering and CTO at Mozilla. “Our efforts will ensure high-quality video remains accessible to all. Mozilla is proud to provide Daala alongside Thor and VP10 to advance this mission.”

Video recorder image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic