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Google Forms Patent Commons for WebM

Nearly a year ago, Google announced its open source WebM project for online video, including the VP8 video codec.

Google is now taking steps to secure WebM from patent attacks, in a bid to help encourage adoption.

"Today we're announcing the formation of the WebM Community Cross-License (CCL) initiative with 17 founding members," Matt Frost is Senior Business Product Manager for the WebM Project wrote in a blog post on Monday. "Organizations that join the CCL agree to license patents they may have that are essential to WebM technologies to other members of the CCL."

Frost noted that Google already makes the key components of WebM openly available on royalty-free terms. With the CCL, Google is looking to enable interested organization to contribute through the licensing initiative.

"Organizations that join the CCL agree to license patents they may have that are essential to WebM technologies to other members of the CCL," Frost said.

Among the big names that are support WebM and CCL are AMD, Cisco, LG Electronics, Mozilla, Samsung Electronics and Texas Instruments.

The WebM format itself is now supported in multiple web browsers including Firefox 4, Chrome and Opera. Google has made a WebM video player plugin for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 browser as well.

WebM is a competitive alternative to the H.264 codec which is licensed by the MPEG LA.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.