Yeah I agree with you it's how patent trolls do business, and from recent high profile cases, very successfully.
But you're assuming VP8 will be found to be infringing. I'm not saying it won't for that matter. There's about 100 comments on that topic between a lot of nerds, fan boys whoever. Frankly I am not sure any of them have any idea whatsoever, whether they are or aren't infringing. I certainly don't as I am not a U.S patent lawyer which specialises in algorithms. I doubt you are qualified either really
All I said was this move pushes us closer to fireworks. Place your bets gentlemen, place your bets.
The growth is with mobile devices. The leaders among them is Apple with iOS, and Google with Android, both of which come with hardware support for H.264, and no WebM hardware support (future support in... theory, but I can say, count Apple out).
This is a good point but check out what those WebM guys are also heavily pushing http://blog.webmproject.org/2011/01/availability-of-webm-vp8-video-hardware.html. Yes VP8 is rapidly catching up h.264 when it comes to hardware support on mobile devices. Fullscreen 1080p VP8 decoding on several chips due to go into Android devices.
This is just another shot across the bows however. What everyone is really waiting for are the major online video content providers to flip to WebM when it is supported by enough devices. With youtube being the biggest of them all making loud steps in that direction, it seems only a matter of time before they aim the guns at the main sail. Then we get fireworks
When the last expansion was released it introduced a brand new graphics engine. The Transgaming client (Cedega) didn't support it and neither did Wine at first. However within a few weeks Wine got it running whereas Transgaming dragged their heels.
For anyone who hasn't followed the Transgaming story, they forked Wine a long time ago and then went closed source. They developed quite a lot of good directx (shader 1.x/2.x/3.x) code but they have never submitted it back to the Wine project. Wine basically restrict them from using any of their code since Transgaming decided to screw them. The end result is Transgaming's Cedega code base is horrifically out of date in places compared to the Wine code base.
In my opinion they should try and fix those bridges and merge the code. Transgaming still has a decent corporate structure to approach companies like CCP, as well as their successful MacOS range. The Wine developers aren't interested in that, only further improving Wine. Transgaming simply haven't got the balance right.
In-game petitions sent to CCP about the incident were subsequently deleted. A forum moderator acknowledged the accusations, and has directed the matter to internal affairs.
CCP created an internal affairs department after admitting developer misconduct on previous occasions.