Google Reveals the WebM Project

May 19, 2010

Project to create high-quality open standard for video on the Web based on Vorbis and VP8.

It had been rumored for sometime that Google might open up the VP8 video codec after the acquisition of On2 Technologies, the codec's creator. Today at the I/O conference, Google confirmed the rumor with the announcement of the WebM Project.

The WebM Project, a venture supported by Mozilla, Opera, Google and at least 40 additional publishers, uses the VP8 video codec and the Vorbis audio codec to create high quality video and audio without the copyrights and patents associated with the h2.64 format championed by Apple and Microsoft.

From the ground up WebM files are designed to work on a variety of devices including netbooks and smartphones. In addition to the open encoders, WebM uses the Matroska container, which supports streaming, subtitles, chapter notations, menus and multiple audio channels.

The WebM Project operates under a BSD-style license where the VP8 bitstream is free and can be modified, sold and imported, but can be revoked, should patent litigation be pursued. For more information on the WebM Project, visit

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