Google fans keep sending me this as if it rebuts my Google/WebM post, but I don’t think it does.
My positions were that Google often infringes others’ IP intentionally with an assumption that they can get away with it (which is usually true), that WebM was one such instance where they assured us that it was patent-free when in fact it wasn’t, and that they cultivate an image of being “open” while actually only using “openness” in noncritical or unprofitable parts of their business.1
This post contradicts none of that, and instead is about the details of Google’s patent-licensing deal. Whether they’re negotiating royalty-free use of WebM now with patent holders doesn’t change the fact that they denied and willfully ignored its patent liabilities until now.
They also use “open” as a marketing trick against established competitors they’re trying to disrupt: by labeling their product as the “open” platform, they make their competitors look closed: evil, greedy, and out of touch. Sometimes it works to some degree, like Android. And sometimes it fails miserably, like OpenSocial. ↩