Google has released the VP8 video streaming codec as an open source tool, it has been announced.
The codec is a major building block of its WebM project unveiled at the firms I/O developer conference last week.
While Google TV stole the headlines, WebM made a quiet entry to the market but is now attracting closer attention.
The company claims that the codec has been made freely available in order to drive adoption however numerous reports claim that there could be a slightly less philanthropic motivation.
The Wall Street Journal claims that there are several patent issues between the Google format and parts of other more established codecs. By making VP8 open source, the web-giant can neatly side-step any legal action, according to the report.