Daniel Eran Dilger:
Almost three years after Google released its WebM video encoding technology as a “free” and open alternative to the existing H.264 backed by Apple and others, it has admitted its position was wrong and that it would pay to license the patents WebM infringes.
Looks like we’re establishing a clear pattern: Google clearly (and often willfully) infringes on someone else’s IP, can’t believe that it’ll ever have any repercussions, and claims they’re doing it to be “open” or some bullshit. It betrays a culture at Google’s highest levels of arrogance, entitlement, and dishonesty.
“Open” has very little to do with anything they do. What they’re really doing most of the time is trying to gain control of the web for themselves and their products. If they really cared about being so “open”, they’d open up a nontrivial part of their business that hasn’t already been commoditized, like their searching or advertising algorithms.
As usual, “open” is just lip service. And it works. It works damn well. You wouldn’t believe the amount of nasty feedback I’m going to get for writing this from people who think Google is contributing, out of the goodness of its heart, to the grand benevolent technical cause of whatever “open” means to each of them as they happily hand over more and more of their privacy and data to the very closed vaults of the world’s biggest advertising company.